Matt Erickson of MMAjunkie.com first reported the story.
However, Sonnen was quick to point out that once the fight was over, he’d be willing to shake hands with Silva. Furthermore, he intimated that he harbored no ill will towards his Brazilian counterpart.
“I will always shake hands, win or lose, after a competition," Sonnen said. "Since I was 9 years old, that's always been the rule. A lot of guys' fathers told them, 'You wait till he throws the first punch.' What my dad taught me was as soon as he squares up, it's starting. This guy has squared up.”
“Hate's too strong of a word," Sonnen said. "I want to beat Anderson up. I'm going to beat Anderson up. He's a phony, he's a fraud and he's got what I want. But I don't wish him a bad life. We'll take care of business in the octagon, we'll shake hands either way, we'll walk out and that will be the end of it.”
Sonnen and Silva’s feud has been going on for a while now, with the Oregon native assuming the role of the consummate anti-hero.
In contrast, Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) has more or less been the perfect gentleman and model professional, that is until he threatened Sonnen with grievous bodily harm in a recent 148 conference media call.
The last time these two met was back at UFC 117 when Sonnen was minutes away from toppling Silva from his lofty perch. However, within a twinkle of an eye, “The Spider” locked Sonnen in a triangle-armbar to secure the victory and his seventh successful defense of his title.
After nearly two years of intense animosity, the most eagerly awaited clash in the history of the Zuffa-based promotion is about to come to a shuddering crescendo—scores will be settled once and for all.
That said, depending on the outcome, a third encounter could be in the offing.
However, Sonnen made it clear that that would never happen. He believes he was the victor in their last outing and is convinced that Silva wouldn’t oblige him due to what transpired back then.
“I will gladly fight him. But under what illusions are we that he would ever ask for a third match? He got destroyed the first time, did everything he could to get out of this fight (and) he's going to get destroyed again. This isn't going to be close. I already know how this is going to go: He gets stomped, and then, 'He wasn't ready' and 'My rib' – I already know how it goes. … This will not be a competitive fight. I have no equal in this division. I have no equal in this sport. I'm the greatest fighter of all time, and I will walk through this guy like I have walked through everybody else.”
Moreover, Sonnen (27-11 MMA, 6-4 UFC) is of the mindset that their rematch is his for the taking.
“I would fight that guy every day," he told MMAjunkie.com. “I love easy fights. I've had the hard fights. I had to fight Stann. I had to fight Bisping. I had to fight (Yushin) Okami. I had to fight (Nate) Marquardt. I had the hard fights. I want some easy fights now.”
Of the aforementioned quartet, the latter two suffered knockout losses to Silva, whilst Sonnen’s victories all came by way of decision.
UFC 148 is scheduled for July 7, 2012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.