Dana: Sonnen Won't Coach TUF in Brazil—'I Don't Think He'd Make It'
Here's a news flash: Wanderlei Silva does not enjoy Chael Sonnen or any of the things "The American Gangster" has had to say about him or his home country of Brazil over the last few years.
On Saturday during a Mr. Olympia expo in Las Vegas, Silva charged across the showroom floor all the way to the booth where Sonnen was appearing before getting in his face and shouting at him during a brief confrontation.
The whole incident made it to YouTube, interlaced with another epic rant from Silva that was akin to a heavy metal video.
The only problem with the whole scenario is that Sonnen is already locked up for his next fight against Rashad Evans at UFC 167, while Silva is on the shelf dealing with an injury that will probably keep him out of action until early 2014.
Depending on how things play out, however, the UFC is currently planning for another version of The Ultimate Fighter to land in Brazil in the next few months and the immediate thought by some fans was to pit Silva against Sonnen as coaches before eventually fighting one another.
As great as that idea may sound in theory, there are logistical issues that prevent the show from happening—not to mention Sonnen is persona non grata in Brazil.
"People keep asking me if they're going to be the coaches (for TUF Brazil 3). I can't have a Brazilian within 10 feet of Chael Sonnen in America," White said during a press conference in Brazil on Monday. "Imagine bringing Chael Sonnen here for six weeks. I don't think he'd make it."
Sonnen's verbal disdain about the country of Brazil has been going on for years, ever since former UFC middleweight Anderson Silva landed in the Oregonian's crosshairs during their nearly two year rivalry. His unrelenting attacks have made Sonnen a fairly unpopular figure with many Brazilian fans as White described on Monday when revealing a couple of public assaults attempted on the UFC light heavyweight during different events.
It's also the reason why White was none too surprised that Silva would go after Sonnen at the Mr. Olympia Expo or anywhere else for that matter.
"I mean there's situations in the United States where that we had an event where a Brazilian fan started swinging at Chael Sonnen trying to hit him," White said. "Then we did the Fan Expo, and a Brazilian tried to swing at him at that. Wanderlei's name is 'The Axe Murderer' and he is a very proud Brazilian and he doesn't like Chael Sonnen and the thing doesn't surprise me one bit."
There are also a plethora of other issues the UFC would have to deal with having an American coach on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil. First off, Sonnen doesn't speak Portuguese and while subtitles can do the job for translating on television it won't help his team of athletes who may or may not speak a word of English.
Also, Sonnen is a fixture on UFC programming for Fox Sports 1 and it's hard to imagine they'd give him up for six weeks to go to Brazil to film a reality show.
Add those issues to the problems that Brazilians already have with Sonnen and it's a Molotov cocktail just waiting to explode.
"I don't have to tell you guys, I stood here what was it a year and a half ago with Anderson (Silva) sitting here, and Chael (Sonnen) sitting here saying horrible things about this country and about the people and about him," White said. "Brazilians do not like Chael Sonnen."
So while there will be a third edition of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, the show will have to go on without the services of Chael Sonnen.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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