“The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen remained an active part of the MMA community even after his retirement, he is known for his trash talk and wicked humor and he doesn’t back down from giving his opinion on literally anything.
In a new interview with UFC.com, he remembered his infamous encounter with Wanderlei Silva on the UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighters” (TUF). Sonnen and Silva were coached on TUF: Brazil 3, and their rivalry reached a boiling point which led to a full-fledged brawl.
Remembering the incident, Chael said, “I kept looking at the cameramen and the director, and I was like open the door and let the guys come in. This is getting heated. I wasn’t smart enough to understand that, yeah, that’s what they wanted. They kind of wanted some of those moments. You got to understand from my perspective this is not the first time he put hands on me, so I was very cautious.”
“A lot of people will say let the other guy throw the first punch; my dad did not believe in that at all,” he explained. “He said the fight begins as soon as they’re within arms’ reach. There’s a confrontation and they get within arms’ reach; they just started the fight. You don’t have to wait for anything.”
“I got more street cred for winning that fight,” Chael Sonnen believes he won that fight against Wanderlei Silva
Sonnen and Silva never actually fought in the UFC, but Sonnen believes he won that altercation, “I got to tell you, I got more street cred for winning that fight in flip flops and I never really understood it because I’m used to getting in fights barefoot,” Sonnen said. “Flip flops were a step up from what I’m used to.”
“One of the producers told me, ‘You know, I watched what happened and we thought about editing it out just making it go away because it’s such a black eye moment,’” he revealed. “He said, ‘Chael, there’s just something very compelling about two fighters fighting when they’re not supposed to fight.’”