Chael Sonnen: Pro Wrestling Personality Paul Heyman Helped Save TUF: Brazil 3

John HeinisSenior Analyst IMay 3, 2014

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Three-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen is one of the biggest personalities in the fight game, but even he wasn't sure how he was going to cope with Wanderlei Silva's antics on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3. 

That is, until he had a candid conversation with well-known pro wrestling personality Paul Heyman. 

The American Gangster dishes the details in an interview with MMA Fighting's Dave Meltzer

Paul was a guy that even without knowing him, I knew I could trust him. We have mutual friends, Brock Lesnar and (former pro wrestling headliner) C.M. Punk. I knew he was an expert in psychology and I was stuck, working through this spot, having to deal with this, him not talking to me and the reversal of roles that I didn't see coming.

He told me, 'Listen, you have to shoot (be completely real, not holding back verbally) on him. If he's not playing along, you have to drop everything and shoot on him.' ... In many ways, Paul Heyman saved Ultimate Fighter (Brazil) 3. He kept his word. He kept his secrecy up.

Heyman was instrumental in running Extreme Championship Wrestling in the 1990s, a hardcore alternative to the then-World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling. 

He is now a well-known manager in the pro wrestling world, with his star client being ex-UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

He also managed former WWE heavyweight titleholder CM Punk before he began feuding with Lesnar last year. 

Despite heading into hostile territory to film TUF: Brazil 3, Sonnen has become the good guy after the infamous impromptu brawl with The Axe Murderer.

Silva, a former Pride champion, argues that his actions on the show were all reactive and that he is a victim of selective editing by the production team, per MMA Fighting

Was Heyman really an instrumental part in making TUF: Brazil 3 run smoothly, or is Sonnen exaggerating for the sake of a good headline?


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for