Sonnen on Wanderlei: 'He Wouldn't Have Been the Champion If I Was in PRIDE'

John HeinisSenior Analyst IMay 24, 2014

Apr 26, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Chael Sonnen (right) is interviewed by Joe Rogan after being weighed in for his light heavyweight title bout against Jon Jones (not pictured) at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Three-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen is chomping at the bit to meet arch-nemesis Wanderlei Silva inside the Octagon at UFC 175 on July 5, which he made clear as day at a press conference yesterday. 

"The American Gangster" turned on his shameless self-promotion skills at the Las Vegas event, stating that he could've easily taken out a PRIDE version of Silva, per MMA Fighting

I was sitting at home scratching and clawing trying to make it. I was fighting at the dog park, I'm fighting anywhere I'm getting a chance, and I'm watching this knucklehead coming out of Japan wearing his belt, I thought I want to kick that guy's ass. He wouldn't have been the champion if I was in PRIDE.

Boasting an impressive 22-4-1 record under the PRIDE banner and one of the promotion's top draws, "The Axe Murderer" won the middleweight title when he scored a TKO over Kazushi Sakuraba in November 2001. 

Though he defended the title on just four occasions, the Brazilian brawler kept the belt for over six years before he was knocked out by Dan Henderson at PRIDE 33 in February 2007. 

Silva has been inconsistent since joining the UFC ranks in December 2007, posting a 4-5 mark and unable to get a winning streak going.

As for Sonnen, a major MMA title has eluded him during his 17-year career.

Although "Uncle Chael" won a clear-cut decision over WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho in November 2008, the title was not on the line since Filho missed weight by about seven pounds.

Sonnen has posted just a 3-4 record in his past seven fights, though two of those losses came to then-UFC middleweight title holder Anderson Silva, and another defeat came against light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones. 

Will Sonnen be able to back up his trash talk at the UFC's annual Fourth of July weekend pay-per-view or will Silva be able to dial up one more vintage performance to shut his American counterpart's mouth?


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