Chael Sonnen at the UFC 148 press conference in Rio de Janeiro earlier this week.
The UFC had to abandon plans to book UFC Middleweight champ Anderson Silva defending his title against Chael Sonnen in a Brazilian stadium due to logistical issues involving hotel room shortages due to a UN conference. That might not be such a bad thing, for the UFC security team that is since apparently just bringing Sonnen into the country for a press conference is a serious security challenge.
The wise-cracking Sonnen, who gave Silva the toughest fight of his UFC career at UFC 117, certainly knows how to piss off Brazilian fans. He's made a long series of semi-racist remarks about the alleged primitive state of the country, made endless jokes at the expense of the Nogueira brothers and other Brazilian stars and continues to push his luck at every opportunity.
Sonnen and Silva will now meet in the headliner of UFC 148 in Las Vegas. UFC 147 will remain in Brazil, although the promotion is still working to secure a venue. UFC Featherweight champ Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch is expected to headline that event with a co-main of Ultimate Fighter Brazil coaches Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva.
UFC president Dana White spoke to MMA Fighting about the unusual measures required to protect the controversial middleweight. We'll have those quotes after the jump...
"You know those disguises with the mustaches and the glasses you get at a joke shop? He had one of those on and he said ‘you wonder how I got into this country, this was my disguise.' He says, ‘everyone was asking me if I was one of the Nogueira brothers, and the people were asking, which Nogueira brother was I, the fat one or the bald one? The one that was good or the one that was never good?'
"We did a scrum with him, the reporters were getting really aggressive. Someone got him with a shock pen, all kinds of stuff like that. He went out the side door, I went out the front door, we got back in the helicopters, got him back through customs, got him on a plane, and got him out of there."