UFC 147: Is It Safe for Chael Sonnen to Fight in Brazil?

Vince CareyContributor IMarch 26, 2012

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

The middleweight championship rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen has been rumored to go down in Brazil for quite some time. However, now that it’s officially announced, the MMA world is not only eagerly anticipating the match-up, but also the crowd reaction that awaits Sonnen.

The self-proclaimed “UFC champion” has verbally gone after the entire country of Brazil on numerous occasions, dropping pipe bombs such as:

“Greetings from Sao Paulo! I'm learning the language: breakdancing in the Special Olympics is called Capoiera and cocaine is called brunch”

“Brazil likes to boast that it’s the power seat of MMA, yet it’s so-called champions bow to the man behind 'Under Siege 2.'…….. Classy"

Naturally, most Brazilians haven’t exactly found this humorous, and due to the country’s unfortunate history of riots during sporting events, the UFC is going to have to dramatically up security around the challenger.

While there is little doubt that the UFC is going to go above and beyond to protect its fighters, especially in a potentially hostile environment, safety is going to be a major concern for this event.

With the UFC growing more and more popular and a huge contract with FOX still getting off the ground, there is no room for any incidents that could give the sport a black eye. If Sonnen is indeed attacked, then the progress the sport has made over the past eight years will take a major blow.

This isn’t a knock on the Brazilian crowds, as we all know that most incidents occur due to just a few people acting foolish, but the risk is real and it needs to be taken seriously.

I hope there is no reason for fans to be concerned and the event goes off without a hitch. However, Sonnen’s lack of respect towards the Brazilian crowd makes this event feel a lot more risky then it should.