Wanderlei Silva has been a fan favorite in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) since his terrifying reign as the PRIDE FC middleweight champion, which stretched form 2001-2007.
After re-joining the ranks of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2007, his popularity rose even further with the American fan base. In fact, "The Axe Murderer" initially refused to accept a bout against Brian Stann because he didn't want to lose fans by taking on -- and beating -- someone who is considered an American hero.
He eventually went on to knockout (KO) Stann in Japan at UFC on Fuel TV 8 last year.
But as his rivalry with Chael Sonnen grew, Silva's popularity took a hit, especially after he initiated -- or so it seemed -- the now-infamous brawl between the two on the set of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3."
According to Silva, it's the editing of the TUF producers that are to blame for painting him as a villain and making Sonnen look like the good guy.
He explained it all to MMA Fighting:
"They edited a lot of things, and unfortunately, the production decided to paint me as the villain. But that is not right, because he said horrible things about us, and disrespected me at every moment during filming. This good guy you're watching on television is not how things are for real. He said and did a lot of things that aren't being shown. What was shown on the show is not everything that happened. Behind what happened there is the motives and the reason why I was mad that day. Beside the absurd (things) that he has said about all of us, he had been provoking me and disrespecting me. Right on the first episode, he called me stupid. Not at any moment did I go down to his level."
This isn't the first time TUF producers have been accused of editing the show in order to vilify a fighter.
Ronda Rousey had the same issue when she coached opposite Meisha Tate on season 18. That's one of the reasons why "Rowdy" proclaimed that she would never participate in the show again.
In his latest video release (watch it here), Silva attempts to show the fans what Sonnen is really like, by highlighting all of his past legal troubles as well as the insulting remarks "The American Gangster" had to say about the country of Brazil and its people.
But, the time for talking and pointing fingers will soon come to an end as Silva and Sonnen are booked to fight at UFC 175 on July 5, 2014 In Las Vegas, Nevada.
It's a chance, I'm sure, Silva would like to take to shed the villain role that was unfairly given to him and remind fans that it was his fighting skills that made them cheer for him for the last 18 years.