For as much that was shown on the air during Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva's stint as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) "Brazil 3" -- including this now-infamous brawl -- there was a lot of interesting stuff that didn't make it past the cutting room floor.
That's according to Sonnen, who revealed on "The MMA Hour" (via MMA Fighting) that he pretty much saved the show from going under after Silva blew a gasket and quit the show on day one after "American Gangster" refused to apologize for previous insults against Brazil.
To hear Sonnen tell it, it was a complete disaster, as UFC President Dana White already had Vitor Belfort on standby to serve as a last-minute replacement for "The Axe Murderer." However, Sonnen decided to pull Silva into a room and explain to him a million(s) of reason(s) that the show had to go on.
And after the Brazilian decided he should call the shots, Sonnen pulled out his bank account to show the Brazilian he was the last person to be telling him what to do.
"So, I'm trying to be real with him. I'm trying to be as real as I can, because this whole thing is about to blow up. I go, ‘Wanderlei, here's the script, okay? I'm the bad guy. I insulted this entire nation. You wear the white hat. You get to come in and be the good guy. When you're bullying me, when you're physically starting fights with me, when you're quitting and walking off set and leaving this whole thing hanging, you're now making me vulnerable. If I'm vulnerable, then I become the good guy. I don't want to be the good guy. But, you do, so enjoy being the good guy. I'll keep being the bad guy. But, stay with me on this, because you're ruining everything. And [Silva] goes on and on about sportsmanship and honor. It's like, dude, this isn't little league baseball, man. You could take all those great little sayings that your coach told you or you got in a fortune cookie and you can shove them up your ass when I'm around, because I don't care about any of them. This is a fist fight in a steel cage. There's nothing about honor and sportsmanship. This is about an applause and a paycheck. That's what it is. So I'm explaining this thing to him, and he's telling me how to do it. ‘You've got to do this and you've got to do that.' I just stop and I go, ‘Wanderlei, stop. Between us, just stop. I am the highest paid fighter in the history of the sport. I'm the biggest draw in the history of this sport. Do you really think you should be giving me advice or should you be taking it? Should you be copying me? He just tore right into me. This is the dick part. So, I'm on my phone. I've got my phone, I bank with Bank of America, I've got a mobile app. I log into my Bank of America app and I just show it to him. And I said, ‘do you really think that you should be giving me advice, or should you just come along for the ride and let me take it from here? And his whole expression, he didn't say it, but he was like, alright, let's go do the show. And that's actually where that ended. I know that makes me a prick, but that's what changed him right there, is I freaking showed him, ‘hey, I know what I'm doing here. You do your thing and let me carry us.'"
Chael P. Sonnen, ladies and gentleman.
The show went on as planned, though Silva and Sonnen never got to settle their difference inside the Octagon for their separate issues with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), which you can see here and here. In fact, that was the last time either man worked for UFC, as Sonnen retired from MMA soon thereafter and Silva was banned from the sport for life, though it was eventually overturned and he was granted his full release by the promotion.
What might have been.