Chael Sonnen credits WWE's Paul Heyman with 'saving' TUF Brazil 3

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Chael Sonnen wasn't sure how he was going to deal with the tough situation he was put in while coaching TUF Brazil 3, so he turned to someone he had never even met before to get some advice - Paul Heyman.

If you don't watch pro wrestling, you might not have heard the name Paul Heyman before. He has dabbled in MMA here and there, working for Strikeforce a bit and spending a lot of time with former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. Heyman is well-known for being a very, very smart man, and that reputation is what led Chael Sonnen to seek his advice when TUF Brazil 3 started to turn out way differently than he had imagined. Opposing coach Wanderlei Silva had taken away the dynamic he thought he needed for the show to be successful, so he had to do something.  He explained the situation to MMA Fighting:

"To say he was ruining the show may be extreme, but the interaction between he and I is an element of the show that's important. There has to be the interaction of the coaches. It's an important factor. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to handle this. This is the same time I'm losing my grip on my character as a heel. I can feel it slipping away. He's being aggressive. He's skipping practices. He's partying. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to handle this."


"Paul was a guy that even without knowing him, I knew I could trust him," said Sonnen. "We have mutual friends, Brock Lesnar and (former pro wrestling headliner) C.M. Punk. I knew he was an expert in psychology and I was stuck, working through this spot, having to deal with this, him not talking to me and the reversal of roles that I didn't see coming."

"He told me, `Listen, you have to shoot (be completely real, not holding back verbally) on him. If he's not playing along, you have to drop everything and shoot on him.' He laid it out a lot more aggressive than that. `You have to drop everything and come clean.' He went into it a lot more detail than that."

"In many ways, Paul Heyman saved Ultimate Fighter (Brazil) 3. He kept his word. He kept his secrecy up."

"So not only should we thank Paul for the huge ratings, but we can also blame him for all the bad things."

Sonnen's fight with Silva is scheduled for UFC 175 in July right now, but that could change again at some point.

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