Middleweight UFC champion Anderson Silva and his next challenger Chael Sonnen were both in attendance at the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas this past weekend.
Speaking to ProMMARadio, Sonnen was in typically outspoken form as he stated why he’s best qualified to put an end to Silva’s unbeaten run.
“One guy has challenged Anderson Silva in four years. One guy. Me. You can’t find a challenge anywhere by any other athlete in this company except me because every 85-pounder and every 205-pounder and everybody else in the UFC’s a bunch of cowards except me. One guy wants to fight the champion, one guy is willing to be the best. That’s why I have this fight because nobody else will do it.”
Sonnen’s comments are more than likely just intended purely for comic effect than factual accuracy, but it’s still worth recalling that Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt, Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping, Alan Belcher and Frank Mir are amongst a few of the fighters who have been calling for a chance to fight Silva over the last few months.
Sonnen also had a bold prediction for the fight.
“Whether I train for Anderson or I don’t train for Anderson, on August 7th I’m going to walk out there and beat up Anderson.”
Meanwhile, despite all Sonnen’s trash-talking antics, it appears that Silva, who remains unbeaten in 11 visits to the UFC’s octagon, is taking it all in his stride.
During a mischievous interview with MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani, Silva said of his opponent, “[the] guy talks…’blah, blah, blah’…but go inside the ring, [the] octagon…it’s different.”
According to Sonnen though the Brazilian did confront him during the expo, though it doesn’t seem as if it didn’t get too heated according to his recollection of events.
“Well, yeah, a little bit, it was hard to say because there was so many people and there was cameras and there was a lot of noise,” Sonnen recalls. “I’m sorry for not giving more detail but it kind of caught me off-guard too and you know when he called my name, I stopped and looked and I didn’t know where it was going. He was telling me to relax, he kept saying “Chael relax! Chael relax!” That was truly, I mean, that was about the extent of it. There was people everywhere. I can’t fully remember because I was a little bit on edge myself when he tracked me down. I didn’t know where that was going to go. But, you know, all’s well that ended well.”
Not quite the verbal warfare we’ve been accustomed to seeing in the build-up to the Rampage Vs Evans then, but still the two middleweights will get the chance to resolve their differences when they step into the octagon as the main event of UFC 117 on August 7th.
Be sure to check out both fighters full interviews below.