Obviously, moving Silva vs Sonnen out of Brazil has pissed off a bunch of Brazilians, with many accusing the UFC of ‘giving’ the fight to Vegas casinos to offset the loss of Junior Dos Santos vs Alistair Overeem. Others are blaming the Brazilian government, who pushed the show out of the country over a stupid UN conference (after Syria, f*ck those pantywastes).
Suffice to say, a LOT of people really really really wanted Silva vs Sonnen to happen in Brazil, Anderson Silva being one of them. Here’s a fawning recounting translated from O Globo of the backstage action that went on leading up to the UFC moving their super stadium show:
Anderson Silva clashed with the boss Dana White, but met in the middle. The powerful UFC kingpin took 1:15 minutes to convince him to fight Chael Sonnen in Las Vegas instead of Rio de Janeiro. That was the reason for the delay in the press conference organized yesterday at a hotel in Barra da Tijuca.
The conversation was heated. Earlier Anderson put his foot down and refused to change the location of the rematch of the century. Years ago the Brazilian middleweight belt holder (84kg) defeated Sonnen in an epic combat. The new confrontation between them was scheduled to Engenhão stadium in Rio with a maximum capacity of 70 thousand people would show the largest crowd in UFC history. But as the date of the struggle coincide with major international events taking place in Rio, Dana White claimed that the city would have no structure to hold the UFC. Hotels would miss. – Said.
Champion was frustrated and insisted on fighting in Brazil. Dana Anderson said that Sonnen had been disrespectful to him, with his family and all Brazilians. “He deserves to take a lesson here, I owe it to my people,” he repeated. But Dana was adamant. “If there is not as happening in a big stadium event so be it in Las Vegas,” said the owner of the UFC. Dana explained that Las Vegas is a city that has a structure to promote the UFC one day to another. The capital of gambling and fighting is there, said the boss.
He recalled the appeal that this confrontation will have to be in the United States the week of celebrations of independence. He spoke of the potential sales that would generate. Finally, Dana secured a good percentage of the sales event through pay-per-view for Anderson. After much back and forth, Anderson finally turned to Dana and said, “Okay, Dana, then tell me you want from me. ” Dana said: “I want you to go to Las Vegas and play well, make a great fight.”
That’s when the champion accepted the mission and said without hesitation: “If it must be so, I’ll beat this guy anywhere, he deserves a lesson.” Dana was excited about the “yes” Anderson. He said he is “an ambassador for the UFC project in Brazil.” And yet again calling the Brazilian “greatest MMA fighter ever built.” “Everyone talks nowadays of Jon Jones, but to me you’re the best shot,” said the smiling owner of the UFC.
Well, that’s a heartwarming end to the tale and I’m glad everyone came out smiles and back slaps and financially compensated. Who knows if any of it is true (Dana has been sh*t talking Brazilian MMA website truthiness too), but SporTV claims Anderson had a clause in his fight contract that the Sonnen rematch would happen in Brazil, so most of the story fits. Maybe even the part where Dana White gives Anderson Silva a verbal rimjob?
More of the translated article after the jump.
Anderson now blames Eike Batista for not having better organized effectively what would be the UFC Rio 3. The EBX Group is a partner of the billionaire businessman and promotes UFC fights that MMA league here. Anderson thinks that they did not understand the size of the UFC and had no power to organize the event. Anderson’s team is frustrated with the transfer of combat for the United States, but they recognize that this may be a “good deal”. Sales in pay-per-view or approach promise to beat the record. And without the refusal of Anderson to fight in Las Vegas champion earns more points with the UFC.
Two weeks ago the closest Anderson friend and one of the oldest MMA associates, Jorge Guimarães, known as Joinha met with UFC’s majority owners, brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. He heard from them plans to invest in academies in Brazil with the brand Anderson Silva / UFC. The event recognizes Anderson as the greatest of all times and want to use the image of himself when he retires.
“Anderson knows that this partnership with the UFC goes for a lifetime,” said Joinha. Has no reason to come into friction with the event, so we accept fight in Las Vegas, “he added. “We do not hit the front with the UFC, beating aside, after all, in the end, Anderson is an employee of them,” he said. The duel could have been held in Brazil, but there would be a place with a capacity of public and lower than that of a football stadium.
“A fight of this magnitude has to be a grand place and Las Vegas is a good place,” I heard from Joinha. The UFC event in Brazil before the day scheduled for June 23 in Rio should now take place in Belo Horizonte and Brasilia. The bout between Vitor Belfort vs Wanderlei Silva may be elevated to the rank of major in the evening. Unless, that is likely, calling a defense belt featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the UFC.