Chael Sonnen can get under the thickest of skins.
Whether it's a legendary mixed martial artist or a local coffee shop employee, he'll verbally throw down at the drop of a hat.
And when you mix that with the volatility that is Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva, bad things are going to happen.
Wanderlei Silva calls Chael Sonnen a ‘racist,’ says he ‘doesn’t deserve our respect’ http://t.co/sMetq0m0kZ— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) April 23, 2014
But as vicious and ill-willed as their rivalry outside of the cage has become, it's just getting started.
"This guy is a racist and he doesn’t deserve our respect," wrote Silva in a recent Instagram post (h/t Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting). "I wouldn’t be mad (at him) if I had no reasons to be. This is just one of the things he said about us."
Silva's aggressive media onslaught stems from his brawl with Sonnen on the set of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Sonnen's actions during the shooting of the reality show apparently came off as "racist," and the Brazilian took immediate offense.
"Now, if you want to cheer for him be my guest, you deserve my respect," added Silva. "I don’t agree with him and I think we should be united this time. We’re stronger together."
Silva obviously has a point to his madness, but it seems unfair to peg Sonnen as a racist strictly based on the words of another man. Their time on the show as rival head coaches surely stirred the pot, but nobody knows for sure what went down.
If Sonnen did provoke Silva in an unprofessional and racist manner, then shame on him. Those types of personal convictions hold no weight in a sport as global and diverse as MMA.
The two men will finally hash out their differences at UFC 175 this July. It will serve as one of the biggest grudge matches in UFC history.
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