In Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), there is a long list of successful mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters who hail from Brazil. Toward the top of that list is former Pride FC Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva, who will coach opposite long-time nemesis Chael Sonnen on the upcoming third installment of Brazil's version of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
The season will ultimately culminate in a heated fight between the two, unless the rivals end up fighting at the Olympia Expo 2014 first.
Recently, much has been made about the decision to have Sonnen lead a team in a country that quite frankly, doesn't like him all that much. Whether that is Sonnen's own fault -- after lobbing xenophobic insults at Brazilian fighters, as well as the nation itself -- or because of the overwhelming popularity of "The Axe Murderer" in his homeland is open to debate.
UFC President Dana White was recently asked to share some details on TUF: "Brazil 3," in particular, the nationalities of the fighters who will comprise Sonnen's team. White confirmed at a recent press conference that Sonnen will, in fact, coach a team of all Brazilian fighters.
"This is a big rivalry. I don’t know how many Brazilians will want be on Chael’s team, but he was a great coach on The Ultimate Fighter 17 in the U.S."
What is even more interesting in this assertion is that Sonnen seems to completely have a different idea of how the show will go down. In an interview with Bleacher Report, he recited a conversation with Joe Rogan that elaborated on UFCs supposed plans:
"My understanding is that the show will have purely Brazilian contestants. That's a little different than in America, where we bring in competitors from all over the world. I know on my last team we had a gentleman from England. I had a gentleman from Jamaica. I had a gentleman from Sweden. All on one team. But when we take the show to a foreign market, we seem to only build talent from that market. It's a bit of a different formula."
Whether the potential addition of Anderson Silva as an assistant coach helps to soften the blow remains to be seen; however, if you thought this season of TUF 18 that features Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey was filled with drama, MMA fans should look no further than TUF: "Brazil 3" to witness all that and much, much more.