OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 07: Anderson Silva kicks Chael Sonnen during the UFC Middleweight Championship bout at Oracle Arena on August 7 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
UFC 148 is starting to pick up the all-important "fight week buzz" as we head toward Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen's highly anticipated rematch. Silva vs. Sonnen II is arguably the most anticipated match of 2012 (Rashad Evans vs. Jon Jones being the only other real option) and according to Dana White, it almost never happened.
"When we did the press conference down in Brazil, Silva hadn't even agreed to fight him," White said. "That fight wasn't happening. I had them bring Anderson to the place where the press conference was, and we sat in a room for three hours fighting about the fight."
"Yeah, (Chael knew)," White said. "He knew there was no fight. (What Chael said) was true, absolutely true. We went down there to make that fight. We set up a press conference, and I had to get it done."
"He's pissed at us about that. He's genuinely mad," White said. "And that's part of the reason he flipped out on the call, because he wasn't even going to get on the call. [UFC vice president of communications] Caren Bell found out in Brazil that he wasn't going to be on the call, and then I made the call and said, 'You better be on the call.' And it led right up until (the call started)."
During the hour delay for the start of that press conference in Brazil there was a bunch of chatter that this was exactly the case. Seeing Dana talk about it shows just how gutsy it was for them to just go ahead and schedule a presser without a fight agreed to.
Still, this kind of makes Anderson look bad, doesn't it? It sounds like he was arguing against a fight with the most deserving challenger because Chael is too mean. I'm not saying Silva was scared, I don't think (arguably) the best fighter in the world is afraid to fight anyone. But he's been so "political" about this and other fights that he certainly doesn't have the "anyone, any time" kind of reputation that others might.
Still, the fight is happening, and it's starting to get pretty exciting knowing that it's just days away.