Wanderlei Silva recently turned down the chance to finally get his hands on Chael Sonnen -- a man who has been on his radar for some quite time now -- in the co-main event of UFC 167 on Nov. 16, 2013 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Apparently, "The Axe Murderer" wanted a piece of the very lucrative pay-per-view (PPV) pie.
And who can blame him? The company's 20th Anniversary event, which also features Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion and top draw Georges St. Pierre defending his title against Johny Hendricks, is likely to get quite a few buys.
UFC President Dana White, however, quickly dismissed those demands, because as the Las Vegas fight boss declared, only division champions are privy to those added benefits.
Which Silva is not.
What he is, however, is a "warrior" who puts it all on the line when he steps into the Octagon, according to White, who also revealed during a recent scrum that demands aside, Silva still wouldn't be able to make the November fight to face Sonnen due to a back injury.
"Let me explain that. So, you got these two guys talking (Wanderlei and Chael) back-and-forth to each other. ‘I want to fight you, I hate you, I hate you.' So we start talking to the guys and then Wanderlei comes back with something like, ‘Yeah, I want pay-per-view.' Champions get pay-per-view. So, you say a few things publicly, Wanderlei and I still hadn't talked until last night. We talked last night on the phone. I love Wanderlei Silva. Wanderlei Silva has been a warrior his whole career, he's been amazing with us, he's been a good guy. So, basically, Wanderlei gets back to me and says, ‘I'm not fighting unless I get pay-per-view.' So, it looks like he's retiring. Now, this is stuff that's said in public. He and I will sit face-to-face and we will talk when the time is right. He can't even fight until January. He can't start training; he says he has something wrong with his back, sciatica, or something. Something is wrong with him right now. I wanted Wanderlei to fight months ago, but, again, this isn't one of those situations where a guy is like, 'I'm hurt.' This is Wanderlei Silva. Wanderlei has been a war horse for the last how many ever years. I don't question Wanderlei Silva. I don't tell him he has to see this doctor. If Wanderlei Silva say he's hurt, he can take his time. He has that respect. If it was some 22 year-old, then yeah, we would get him checked out. Wanderlei can take his time. I love Wanderlei."
Sonnen still seems to be on track to fill the co-main event slot in "Sin City" as rumored fights against Rashad Evans and Phil Davis have surfaced. White, however, dismissed any possibility of pairing Sonnen up against "Mr. Wonderful" during his chat with reporters.
Should Sonnen prove victorious against whoever he faces at UFC 167, an event Dana says the rabble-rousing Republican so desperately wants to be on, a fight against Wanderlei isn't out of the realm of possibility given the timeline.
And judging by this video, it's still a fight "The Axe Murderer" has his sights set on.