In the lead-up to his title defense at UFC 117 last year Anderson Silva withstood a barrage of verbal abuse from Chael Sonnen, and for the most part he chose to ignore it and did his talking inside the Octagon instead, emerging with a last-gasp submission victory.
Later it turned out that Sonnen had tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs prior to the fight, resulting in a six month suspension, and later he was convicted on money laundering charges, though he managed to escape a jail sentence.
Throughout all that Silva kept quiet, but after discovering that his next opponent Yushin Okami is training with the down-and-out fighter who is still sitting on the outside looking in after having his suspension upheld by the California State Athletic Commission just a few weeks ago, Silva has finally revealed his true feelings about his rival.
“You have to find the best people to train with, and I think [Okami] chose wrong,” Silva comments to Brazilian newspaper ‘O Globo.’ “I’d never align myself with a loser, a loser in every sense. He didn’t win the fight [between us] and got caught doping. You want to be a champion? Get with good people, with winners.
Despite the controversy surrounding him many people believe that Sonnen gave Silva his toughest test in the Octagon to date, appearing to get the better of him for four rounds, but it appears the champion does not agree.
“Sonnen wasn’t a tough opponent for me. I was injured with cracked ribs and fought five rounds. If I hadn’t been injured, the fight would have been different.”
While it’s Sonnen that takes the brunt of the criticism here, Silva is not Okami’s biggest fan either. The Japanese fighter is the last man to have beaten ‘The Spider’, but it came after Silva landed an illegal upkick in Hawaii back in 2006, resulting in him being disqualified.
Silva has always maintained that Okami overplayed the incident in order to get him disqualified and is now looking for revenge. The fact that Okami is now training with another of his most bitter rivals will only further antagonise the middleweight champion, and should bring extra spice to the occasion when these two finally meet again at UFC 134: Rio in August.