Dana White: If Wanderlei is healthy, I will definitely make Silva vs. Sonnen UFC 167’s co-main event


Former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva and outspoken former UFC multi-class title challenger Chael Sonnen have a well documented beef that spans many a trash talking session. Ever since the infamous scolding Silva gave Sonnen about disrespecting his home country of Brazil inside of a van, there’s been bad blood between the two combatants.

But with Sonnen linked to two of the top fighters in the game in Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, he was never free to book a fight with “The Axe Murderer.” After defeating Silva’s good friend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 26, Sonnen proceeded to call out Silva and officially campaign for the bout.

Appearing on last night’s “Fox Sports Live” on Fox Sports 1, UFC president Dana White expressed his interest in booking the bout for the co-main event of UFC 167 from Las Vegas, which features a pivotal Welterweight title showdown between Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks. The only apparent roadblock to making the fight is ensuring that Silva is healthy:

This is a bout a long time in the making, with a ton of backstory behind it. Sonnen has gone out of his way to bash a ton of Brazilian fighters, and Wanderlei Silva is right near the top of the list right now. Both have a good amount of momentum on their side, as Silva knocked out Brian Stann in his last bout and Sonnen of course submitted the always tough “Shogun.”

On paper, it’s hard not to give the decided edge to Sonnen due to his high level wrestling, which has never been Silva’s strong point. There’s no doubt he has the power to KO most fighters, but he may never get the chance against “The American Gangster.”

Still, the buildup to the fight guarantees to be epic, and while we didn’t see the trash talk that we’re used to seeing from Sonnen prior to UFC Fight Night 26, something tells me that we’ll get more than our fair share if this bout ends up getting scheduled. Who is your early pick to win this grudge match?

  • This is a fight I've wanted to see for a while. Wand is still dangerous, he's got some nasty KO power, but I'd have to give Sonnen the edge, based on wrestling. He seems to have tightened up his sub game too.

    • What weight class anyone know?

    • Jamie, Silva seemed to stop using his thundering overhand strikes and started to jab and straight punch about a year or two ago. It seemed to me somebody tried to make him less wild and more technical. Perhaps his dislike for Chael would bring out the animal in him again.

      • @Michael, he is a bt more tame but he's still not afraid to get into a slugfest, ala Stann. If he matches up with Chael I expect him to go balls to the wall.

        @David, good question. Initially I thought it'd be at 185lb, but 205lb is possible, as is a catchweight bout somewhere in between.

  • fun, fun fight but fact is I don't see any way that Wand stops the double leg… and Sonnen will shoot it within the first 5 seconds pretty much guaranteed.
    If he manhandled Shogun, who at this point is probably still better than Wand, I don't see Shogun losing here.

    Out of the last 7 years Wand has 4 wins and near enough all the success in those fights were due to the guys being willing to stand with Wand… it's a fact Chael isn't going to do this.

    Either way, hope it happens

    • There is no probably about it. Shogun is much better than Wandy at this point. He's also bigger and has a better sub game IMO. Neither is known for their subs but I'd have to lean toward Shogun of the 2. I don't want to see this fight because it gives Sonnen another easy win to continue he legend win streak and try talking his way into another big fight. I also feel it's a step backward for him. Not that I care.

    • *don't see Chael losing here

  • Vic

    The night when Billy Graham will walk on his side to the octagon! 😀

  • Sonnen by decision all day long

  • Ivy

    I see Sonnen subbing Wandy.

  • And people say Chael only wants title fights.

  • There is no reason that Sonnen won't be able do the same exact thing to Wandy the Wonder Ape that he did to Shogun. Shogun's striking and ground game are far better than Wandy's.

  • I hope Wand never got that opportunity to put $100,000 down on Rua.

  • Sonnen is a smart fighter. He calls out guys that matchup great for him. By doing so he makes his way up the ladder to a title contention fight. Shogun is dangerous yes, but he hasn't been at his potential since the Machida fights.

    If Sonnen wins, and Machida wins, then I would like them to fight to solidify a top 1 or 2 contender-ship. Davis's win doesn't change much in my eyes, as he was outscored, and his take downs were for the most part stuffed vs Machida. I still have Lyoto top 2 contender for LHW title.

    UFC kind of has a stalemate at the moment with only a handful of fighters capable of taking the belt.

    HW – Cain, JDS…enough said.

    Machida is the only one I can see ever beating Jones @ LHW

    Silva/Wideman/Vitor/Rockhold are your top 4 Middleweights

    Welterweight is a bit more interesting with GSP/Condit/Macdonald/Hendricks/Diaz/Lawler.

    LW – Pettis/Henderson/Maynard/Edgar

    FW – Aldo/Edgar

  • I think Wanderlei should take some TRT for this fight, if not, it will not be a fair fight. IMO TRT gives somewhat of an advantage. I don't know how long Sonnen and Vitor have been under this therapy but they've beat everyone lately but Anderson and Jones, specially Vitor.

  • If Chael beats Wanderlei, he will have made a mockery of two Brazilian legends. I wouldn't want to accept this fight if I was Wanderlei.

  • If I were Wanderlei I would focus on my BJJ for this fight.

  • Wanderlei could very well knock sonnen out. when he faught cung lee he kept his distance very well. this way he could avoid takedowns. wandy's groundgame isn't too shabby either. I think, due to sonnens wrestling, its either a boring decision win for sonnen or a KO for silva.