OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 06: (L-R) UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva refuses to face off with opponent Chael Sonnen at the UFC 117 weigh-in at Oracle Arena on August 6 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
In the nearly two years since Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva submitted Chael Sonnen at UFC 117, he's (for the most part) taken the high road during the unrelenting barrage of taunts from his 185-pound nemesis.
Now that Sonnen has finally worked his way back into a rematch against "The Spider" this June in Brazil, the longtime division kingpin is finally speaking out on the "disrespectful" attitude of his challenger, who continues to parade around town with a replica belt and call himself the champ.
And he holds the media (partly) responsible.
Not just the stateside reporters, but the boys back in Brazil as well, who should "be more patriotic" like their American counterparts.
"He’s possessed by a demon. That’s the truth. He’s an athlete that failed the drug test, I fought him while injured, and he had problems with the American Justice system. He respects nothing and he didn’t respect our country. What does he represent? Nothing. I respect the opinions and the positions of the promoters of the fight and the owners of the event, but in my opinion he shouldn’t get the chance to fight me again. But that’s not something that I can decide. I will get ready for the fight just as I would with any other. He disrespected our idols that made history in the world of sports, such as Lance Armstrong. This guy is complicated, he’s got personal issues. The attention that the Brazilian media gives him, the attention that Palmeiras gave him, it’s very bad. If any Brazilian would be in the position that he finds himself in, if they would talk about the US and he does about Brazil, and the American idols, we wouldn’t even have the same opportunities of going in their country or talking to the American media. I think that Brazilians should be more patriotic, like the Americans."
Sonnen was just a few short minutes away from defeating Silva back in August 2010, beating the silk out of "The Spider" for four-and-a-half rounds.
Then, with victory in sight, he choked (literally) when plopping into his opponent's guard -- and right into a triangle choke. A drug test suspension for TRT overload promptly put him on the shelf for six months after the loss.
Now the rematch is set and Silva sounds like he's starting to get a little annoyed. Will he be able to dispose of Sonnen once and for all? Or will the mouthy middleweight contender finish what he started in their first fight?