Anderson Silva rips Sonnen in unbelievable tirade
It had been long speculated that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva disdained rival Chael Sonnen.
There is no doubt anymore.
“[I am] going to break his face, break every one of the teeth in his mouth,” an agitated Silva said through a translator during Monday’s conference call to promote the July 7 UFC 148 pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Silva will meet Sonnen in a rematch of their UFC 117 title fight. Silva won that fight by submitting Sonnen with a combination triangle choke and arm bar at 3:10 of the fifth round.
But what’s been remembered about that fight is the way Sonnen used his wrestling to dominate Silva for the first four and a half rounds.
It marked the only time in Silva’s 14-fight UFC career that he was in serious danger of losing. Silva is the longest reigning champion in UFC history and has recorded nine consecutive successful title defenses.
Yet Silva did not admit to concern that Sonnen would implement a strategy similar to the one that was highly effective on the night of Aug. 7, 2010.
“[Artifacts] from the past live in museums,” Silva said. “[It] doesn’t matter if I’m underneath, on the side of or on top of Chael Sonnen.”
Sonnen had spent the 22 months following their first encounter publicly insulting Silva, who is on the short list of the greatest fighters in the still-nascent sport, his home land of Brazil and Brazilian fighters.
Evidently, Silva took notes.
“I know Chael is on the line,” Silva said of Sonnen, who along with UFC President Dana White and UFC 148 semi-main eventers Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin participated in the call. “Play time is over. The joke is over. I’m going to beat his [butt] out of the UFC.
“[I'm going to do] something to change [the perception of the sport],” said Silva, who routinely raised his voice throughout the half-hour long call before abruptly hanging up. “[His] arms are [going to be] broken. [His] legs are [going to be] broken. He’s going to be carried out of the Octagon.
“[I'm] going to beat him the way his parents should have,” Silva said. “[He's] going to need a plastic surgeon.”
Silva’s out-of-character outburst shocked White.
“Never heard him talk like this,” White said. “Never heard Anderson Silva talk like this.”
It had to be a beautiful sound to White’s ears because it could mean one of the strongest revenue-generating nights in UFC history.
White predicted the pay-per-view will be the “biggest sporting event of the year” and that it could rival UFC 100, which is the company’s record holder for most pay-per-view purchases.
That event sold a reported 1.6 million pay-per-view purchases. The card was headlined by Brock Lesnar’s UFC Heavyweight Title defense against Frank Mir. Georges St. Pierre, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping were also on the card.
“There’s no doubt we plan on doing one million buys,” White said. “[We] expect UFC 100 numbers.”
Follow Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.