Just one day after Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White took to "FOX Sports Live" (watch full video replay here) and announced that he will try to book Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva at UFC 167, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 16, 2013, a wrench has already been tossed into the grand mixed martial arts (MMA) plans.
And it has nothing to do with the physical health of "The Axe Murderer," which appeared to be White's only reservation about the potential pay-per-view (PPV) Light Heavyweight co-main event match. On the contrary, it has everything to do with his financial demands, so lofty that White suggested the Brazilian bomber just might want to consider retiring instead.
White dished via text message to MMAFighting.com earlier this evening:
"[Silva] said he won't fight him unless he gets PPV [points] so I guess he's gonna retire."
It appears that Silva may have overplayed his hand, too eager to get a heavenly PPV slice of the self-proclaimed "biggest box office draw." Even though it would seem academic that a bad-blood bout against Sonnen on the promotion's 20th Anniversary show would be right up there, financially, with whatever he took home in base salary and discretionary bonuses after his legendary showdown with Chuck Liddell.
Regardless, White seems willing to move on, claiming that he will "figure out" what's next for Sonnen. And figure it out soon it better, with all the potential opponents for Sonnen now seemingly locked up and UFC 167 needing a marquee match to complement the main attraction between Georges St. Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks.
Let's also consider the two-year war of words that fight fans had to endure, which culminated when "The Axe Murderer" posted a video (watch it here) of him confronting Sonnen about his comments regarding Brazil and his fellow Brazilian fighters in the back of a bus. Most recently, Sonnen called out Silva one more time moments after he submitted Mauricio Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 last Saturday night (Aug. 17, 2013) in Boston, Massachusetts.
It's a fight that already is selling itself thanks to the constant agitation of Sonnen, meaning that if Silva doesn't lower his demands it might just actually end up going down in a nondescript parking lot somewhere.
For no money at all.