If the threat of lynching has changed the mind of Chael Sonnen, it is not known. The fact is that the American will no longer be coming to Rio according to the coaches of Japan’s Yushin Okami, who arrived on Saturday. Sonnen will not be in the country for the event.
Disliked by most Brazilian fighters like Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Lyoto Machida and the Nogueira brothers, Sonnen said in several interviews that he would come to Brazil for UFC 134. Yushin Okami, his teammate, will face Anderson in the main event of the night and Sonnen was expected in his corner. The American even said during the week he would come to Rio on Friday.
However, the coaches of Team Quest denied that the Sonnen has or will come to Brazil. According to a post by the official UFC Brazil twitter, Sonnen was just “trolling” and will not be in Rio for the fight. Sonnen has a fight scheduled for Oct. 8 at UFC 136 against Brian Stann, and will be focused on training for the occasion.
So the only question is if this really was a troll all along or the UFC took a look at stuff like the ‘Let’s Lynch Chael Sonnen’ page and decided they didn’t need him ringside if Okami lay’n’prays his way across 5 rounds to dethrone Anderson Silva. Brazil has a rich history of sports riots (‘sometimes these things happen in MMA’), especially when the hometown favorite loses. Even without Sonnen there, they better have an elaborate plan in a glass box labeled ‘Break in case of Anarchy.’ Just in case things get a bit Vancouvery.