Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will today (April 24, 2012) hold a special public press conference in advance of UFC 147: Silva vs. Sonnen 2, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro on June 23, 2012, although there have been reports to the contrary.
The press conference will begin at 11 a.m. ET from Brazil.
Silva is the current middleweight champion. He fought Sonnen back in 2010 in one of the year's most dramatic fights, withstanding over four rounds of wrestling to score a clutch fifth round submission victory to retain his title. He's since defended his belt twice, knocking out both Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami.
Chael Sonnen has been one of the most controversial and magnetic fighters in the past few years. After losing his title shot and being suspended for high testosterone levels, he returned to defeat both Brian Stann and Michael Bisping to earn his rematch.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC 147 "special announcement" press conference, as well as a LIVE press conference video feed, after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET.
11:02 am - We're getting started.
Dana White: I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is Chael and Anderson will be fighting. The bad news is it will not be in Brazil as we had planned. We wanted it to be in a soccer stadium. First we tried Sao Paulo, then Rio and we still don't have a venue for the Ultimate Fighter finale. We're gonna have Vitor vs Wanderlei, The TUF middleweight and featherweight finalists, Werdum vs. Russow and we're talking about Jose Aldo fighting on that card as well.
Anderson Silva: I don't have fans only in Brazil but worldwide. Regardless of where this fight is, I'll still be representing Brazil and my fans. The UFC has an alliance with a company which wasn't professional enough to understand the size of UFC. I will do my job as always and maintain my visibility as holder of the belt in the UFC.
Dana White: It took a lot of talking and I finally convinced Anderson to take the fight in Las Vegas. He really wanted to fight here.
Chael Sonnen: It was disappointing, especially the thought of coming to a stadium. I was hoping of breaking that UFC 129 record. Las Vegas is the fight capital of the world. My plan was to come here, take your money, my belt and come back to America but I'm gonna have to wait until July 7th.
Anderson Silva: I am a fighter. My first world championship I fought in Japan and they were cheering against me. It makes no difference. Once you go up there, everything changes. I can say that because I know exactly what it's like. I'll represent Brazil in the same manner as I always have done.
Dana White: The event is gonna happen. The details just aren't worked out and we don't have a venue yet.
Dana White: We've done a couple of successful events down here in Rio. There were many things that caused this fight to fall apart here. This is the biggest sporting events of the year, a huge global event. If we're gonna do it here in Brazil, it needs to be done in a huge soccer stadium. We tried to use what U2 used for their tour and everything that could go wrong went wrong. If we couldn't pull it off here in the soccer stadium, Las Vegas was the only other option.
Chael Sonnen: I don't have anything against the Brazilian people. I've got something against a Brazilian that's sitting a few feet from me and maybe a couple other gentlemen, but your women are great. I think it's disgusting that Anderson has a fake belt when I beat him on live TV.
Anderson Silva: Chael Sonnen doesn't practice martial arts. He doesn't know what martial arts is. Respect for people and human beings. He's promoting the fight but he's not respecting the country or my family. He disrespects the audience. In my opinion, the best fight would be against myself and my clone.
Chael Sonnen interrupts Anderson's speech by making fake snoring sounds.
Chael Sonnen: This guy says the craziest stuff. He's surrounded by yes men and it's unbelievable. He became number one contender by beating the great Chris Leben. What a star. I called him out for six years. "He disrespected my family!" and he didn't do anything about it. Our skills are not even close. Go to your Ed Soares school of excuse-making because you're gonna need them on July 7th.
Dana White: We talked about moving Jose down to this card here and it's probably gonna happen. Dan Henderson vs Jones could be a possibility. Jones just fought and his hands are sore. We'll just wait a few weeks and then figure out what could be the main event in Calgary. That could be awesome.
Dana White: Yes, June 23rd is still the date in Brazil.
Anderson Silva: My opinion about Chael and any other athlete who present themselves in the UFC is the same. All athletes in the UFC are good athletes. No one will be fighting for the belt if they don't have conditions to do that.
Chael Sonnen: The offer that I would retire was on the table but offers don't last forever. He didn't accept it and I had to go fight Bisping instead. I'll never talk about my career, my legacy and respect. I'll only talk about what the weight class and when's the fight.
Dana White: I can't tell if Chael is the villain or if Chael is nuts. He talks a lot of crazy shit but he backs it up. He came out and he beat Bisping and he beat all the guys to get to Anderson Silva. I believe it whole-heartedly 100 percent. Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter ever. Say what you want about Chael, but he's the only guy to ever challenge Anderson Silva and has come close. All the stuff that comes out of his mouth is nutty as hell, but he backs it up.
Dana White: Shogun and Machida were going to be fighting soon in the US, but they would be great coaches for The Ultimate Fighter, absolutely.
That's a wrap folks. Thanks for stopping by!