The long simmering feud between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva may finally end with a fight.
The Associated Press has announced that Sonnen and Silva have not only signed to fight each other at Bellator 180 on June 24th, but that the fight will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. That would be a pretty major event for Bellator, who have struggled to establish themselves as a must see promotion for casual MMA fans despite former Strikeforce head Scott Coker taking over the company in 2014.
Sonnen last fought for Bellator in January, losing quickly to Tito Ortiz in a fight that had many viewers questioning whether Chael had actually turned up to win. Wanderlei Silva's recent history isn't much better. The Brazilian legend has spent the last two years fighting a lifetime suspension from the sport levied by Nevada after Silva reportedly ducked out on commission members attempting to drug test him.
Still, a fight between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen is guaranteed to attract big attention ... so big that Bellator will be using it to anchor their first pay-per-view event. Via The Associated Press:
"We always said that when we come to New York, we'll bring the biggest and the best fight card we've ever had in the history of this company," Coker told the AP. "We're putting it together, and our roster is robust enough that we feel like it's time to get into the pay-per-view business, so here we go."
The two went back and forth for years in the UFC, culminating in a season as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter that featured several near fights and one actual brawl.
That brawl ended up having massive consequences. Wanderlei’s hand was injured in the scuffle, causing the fight to be delayed. In that time, Chael Sonnen failed a drug test and Wanderlei ran away from his, resulting in suspensions and the eventual removal of both fighters from the UFC roster. But now they’re both clear of commission hang ups and both fighting under the Bellator banner.
So what do you think, Maniacs? Ready to shell out 40 to 60 dollars for "The Axe Murderer" versus "The West Linn Gangster"?