UFC star Chael Sonnen faces Rashad Evans at UFC 167 but the fight he and the UFC were hoping to book for him was against Wanderlei Silva. Silva's asking price was apparently too high but that hasn't stopped the smack talk. No, it hasn't even slowed it down.
Yesterday Silva was talking about his hopes to face Sonnen in Oregon (Sonnen's home state) or Brazil (Silva's home country). Chael responded on the MMA Hour:
"Wanderlei's version is, ‘I'd really love to do it, but the UFC just hasn't offered it to me.' But anyone who believes the UFC hasn't offered tried to put on this colossal mega-fight between two guys that genuinely disdain each other is more than silly. It's a level of ridiculousness.
"Am I picking on him? Yeah, I'm picking on him. This dates way back to when he was fighting in Japan. I'm the first guy to ever point out the fact that those were fake, that he wasn't winning fights in Japan. That he didn't go 22-0. These were set-up matches, and it pissed him and ‘Cro Cop' off. But as soon as I said it, other guys started coming out and going, ‘Oh, Chael's right.' From Gary Goodridge to Mark Coleman, to Don Frye coming out, ‘Yeah, we were in the back and yeah, these were set-up.' He's upset about that, but it doesn't change the reality of what happened."
One hopes that all this smack talk doesn't end up going to waste. I'm sympathetic to Silva's desire for one last big payday before he retires. He's done enough in the UFC, not to speak of his Hall of Fame MMA career, to have earned that reward. There's interest in this fight, both men are coming off impressive wins, Silva over Brian Stann and Chael over Shogun Rua.
Hopefully Sonnen can get past Evans and this fight will happen.
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