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Anderson Silva re-extends barbecue invite to Chael Sonnen decade after rematch: ‘He’s my friend’

Jake Paul v Anderson Silva - Press Conference Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Despite their newfound friendliness, Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen remains one of the greatest rivalries in mixed martial arts (MMA) history.

In 2012, trying to explain to someone that the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kingpin, Silva, and brash top contender, Sonnen, would someday be friendly would be met with scoffs and laughter. That’s the case in 2022, however.

Following Silva’s second round technical knockout victory in the ultra-anticipated rematch at UFC 148 in July 2012, “The Spider” invited Sonnen to a barbecue at his house in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. That was after Sonnen claimed he would play touch-butt with Silva’s wife, which infuriated the historically cool, calm and collected Brazilian, who vowed to “break his teeth.

One decade later, at the Jake Paul versus Silva pre-fight press conference today (Mon., Sept. 12, 2022), “The American Gangster” explained why he missed out on the festivities.

“You never come to my house for the barbecue, why?” Silva said.

“Okay, okay, here’s the thing,” Sonnen said. “I didn’t think it was a sincere offer. If I knew I was really invited ...”

“Of course!” Silva chimed in.

“Then I didn’t know if your wife forgave me, it was a whole thing,” Sonnen continued. “That’s the real answer why I didn’t come.”

“You need to come, please,” Silva said.

“In Brazil?” Sonnen responded.

“No, here. In Brazil, a lot of people try to kill you, trust me.” Silva answered as they laughed. “People hate you in Brazil. But I’m not, I love you, man.”

“I accept, thank you very much,” Sonnen said.

Sonnen’s over-the-top and witty trash talk helped elevate the Middleweight division, and in a way, UFC, to new heights towards the end of Silva’s long title reign. Throughout the saga, Sonnen knew next to no bounds with his verbal jabs, famously going after Silva’s country of Brazil along with his wife.

Silva always remained coolheaded throughout the rivalry — except for maybe at their rematch weigh-ins. All these years later, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to see the kindness expressed.

“Yeah, absolutely [we’ll do it],” Silva told The Schmo after the presser. “I asked him to come. I said, ‘Chael, you need to come. Why? Because the people think me and you hate each other. But it’s not, he’s my friend.”

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