Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva Nearly Come to Blows at Mr. Olympia

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2013

Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva are definitely not friends. The two on-again-off-again light heavyweights have had one of the most bitter rivalries in MMA over the last year, and it was on full display earlier Saturday at the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding festival. 

While Mr. Olympia is best known as the competition that helped launch the careers of Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger, it has become a hub for all things fitness-related and, with that, all things MMA-related. This attracts a who's who of noteworthy mixed martial artists, including Sonnen and Silva.

When the two came across each other, things reportedly got heated very quickly. Bodybuilding journalist Larry Pepe of happened to catch some of the action on his phone, which you can see here:

Reports on how things escalated, who said what and who started the conflict vary. However, both parties have made short tweets on the scuffle: 

@sonnench @UFCTonight always brother!

— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) September 29, 2013

Soon I go explain what happen with me and this motherfoc&"

— Wanderlei Silva (@wandfc) September 29, 2013

The feud between the two began amid the rivalry between Sonnen and at-the-time middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen famously mocked Anderson and other famous Brazilian mixed martial artists, drawing their ire in the process.

He was particularly harsh with Wanderlei, however, repeatedly saying the fights in the now-defunct Pride FC promotion that made him a major star were fixed in his favor.

It wasn't until very recently, though, that a fight between the two became a realistic possibility, which made the bad blood between the two boil. However, while a bout between the two was initially expected to go down this year, injuries killed the possible grudge match, and Sonnen has since been matched up against former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.

Even so, the feud is being kept alive. Make sure to keep an eye on Bleacher Report for more details on the fight as they become available.


Wanderlei Silva has posted a video of the encounter. Unfortunately, it shows that the incident was deliberate on the part of Silva, rather than an organic scuffle from a chance encounter. Sonnen's reaction, though, was intense, angry and real.