Chael Sonnen Reflects On Rivalry With Wanderlei Silva
Chael Sonnen has taken the time to look back on his heated rivalry with Wanderlei Silva.
Sonnen has been known to ruffle the feathers of quite a few MMA fighters over the years. One fighter, in particular, never got over his beef with “The American Gangster.” That fighter is Silva, who got physical with Sonnen on a season of The Ultimate Fighter when both men were serving as opposing coaches.
Speaking to Burt Watson for an MMAJunkie exclusive, Sonnen reflected on his time on TUF with Silva. Sonnen noted that he felt Silva turned the tables by making himself look like the villain.
“So, all of a sudden, he who is supposed to be a hero, is now the villain. I’m supposed to be the villain (but) I’m now the hero. Everything was wrong. So Wanderlei and I go to the back room, and I even explained this to him. … I said, ‘Wanderlei, you have to understand this, you get to be the hero, but if you bully me and pick on me, that’s going to make me sympathetic. I don’t want to be liked, you do. So go ahead and take it, I’ll take the other role, that’s the one I want.’ But he just did not understand, he was too hard-headed.”
Sonnen also noted that somehow “The Axe Murderer” got himself involved in his feud with Anderson Silva. “The American Gangster” said he never had any problems with Wanderlei but that the former PRIDE FC Middleweight Champion took issue with Sonnen for picking fights with Brazilian legends.
Sonnen and Silva were never able to fight under the UFC banner but they did clash for Bellator. The two fought back on June 24, 2017. The light-heavyweight tilt took place inside Madison Square Garden in New York City. It headlined Bellator NYC. Sonnen emerged victorious via unanimous decision.