Wanderlei Silva lost out to Chael Sonnen without even fighting. His replacement by his countryman Vitor Belfort at UFC 175 was the latest of a series of events that seems to have done irreversible damage to his image with Brazilian fans.
Let's run through the list of ways The American Gangster came out ahead in this rivalry. First, Sonnen asked for this fight and Wanderlei refused offers for it to happen at UFC on Fox Sports 1 and at UFC 167. Then, both were announced as coaches of TUF Brazil 3, but Wandy managed the unthinkable: he lost the support of a big part of the Brazilian fans to Chael.
Wanderlei demanded Sonnen to apologise for past offenses against Brazil , which has not happened. So, childishly, The Axe Murderer threatened to quit the show. After being forced to reverse course on that, he shoved the American, touching Chael in a hostile way for the first, but not the last, time.
Then Wanderlei (who had a clear advantage over Chael because he knew how to speak Portuguese) begun with his team winning by 4 x 0 against Team Sonnen, much better performance for Wandy than he had at TUF Brazil 1, when his fighters have lost seven of the eight initial fights to Team Belfort. But then his ship started to sink.
The Brazilian was late on a pre-fight weigh in and Chael accused him of having arrived smelling of alcohol when he finally appeared. The next day, Sonnen was called out and Wanderlei used a push (which he had done before) by his nemesis to justify starting an altercation. The Axe Murderer was taken down easily and then one of his coaches, Andre Dida, attacked Sonnen in cowardly fashion while others tried to separate them.
Dida took Sonnen's shirt and boasted and he and Wandy celebrated together. Dana White kicked Dida out of the show and Wandy stood up for his friend. To make matters worse, the former Pride middleweight champion broke his hand in the turmoil and his fight with Chael had to be postponed from TUF 3 Finale Brazil to UFC 175 . To make matters even worse, the show continued with Sonnen revealing himself to be a gentleman and a very attentive coach and his team tied the competition at 4-4 (and Sonnen won the coaches challenge by beating Wanderlei at soccer, the national sport in Brazil).
Then Wanderlei chose to pit two teammates against one another, something Belfort did on TUF Brazil 1 and for which Wanderlei had vehemently reproached him. Wanderlei initially said that opponents Vitor Miranda and Antonio Mountain weren't that friendly, and then, when the fighters made it very clear that they were, Wandy said he didn't know when he booked the fight.
In the semifinals, the advantage went 3-1 to Team Sonnen . Throughout the period in which the program was broadcast and after that, Wandy has said how would hit the American, who retorted warning that the Brazilian had not yet signed the contract to fight and that his supposed opponent would drop out at some point. Despite concerns that Sonnen, whose TRT use is notorious, would have troubles with the Nevada Commission, in the end it was Silva who didn't show up for testing and was denied a license to fight.
That was simply the last straw in a series of incidents that cost Wanderlei Silva much of the support of the Brazlian fans watching the show. It's not a good way for a legend to go out.