Tuesday, 24 April 2012 08:10
Today's UFC press conference from Brazil began with Dana White saying there was good news and bad news. The good news: Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen will take place. The bad news: it won't take place in Brazil. White said they first tried to run Sao Paulo and tried Rio. Both of those didn't work out and they still don't have a venue for the The Ultimate Fighter Brazil finale either. Their plan for that eventual show is that whenever it happens: Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva in a battle of TUF coaches, the finals of the TUF Brazil tourneys, Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow and also a Jose Aldo title fight.
White admitted that Silva was very upset about not fighting in Brazil and that it took a lot to convince him to take the fight in the U.S., but ultimately he agreed to do so. It will now take place July 7th at UFC 148, the same show that features the battle of the TUF 15 coaches with Urijah Faber challenging Dominick Cruz for the 135-pound title.
Sonnen was doing his heel American gimmick, trying to get himself killed, including at one point loudly snoring into the mic as Anderson talked about whether he felt disrespected. He said he was the real champion, everyone saw it and it was disrespectful for Silva to walk around with a fake belt and call himself champion. White, who was laughing through most of this, said that anyone who was upset needed to be upset with Chael and not the UFC.
Silva, in response to the claim that this would be the biggest fight of all time, said he thought the biggest fight of all time would be him facing his own clone. It was during this answer that Sonnen feigned falling asleep.
White noted that June 23rd is still a date for a show even though it won't currently be the TUF Finale in Brazil.
White was asked if they looked at other states in Brazil before pulling out and why they didn't run a stadium in the United States. He said Vegas was the fight capital of the world, noting Manny Pacquiao never fought in the Philippines and only fought in Vegas. He didn't answer the question of looking elsewhere in Brazil.
Silva brought up how Sonnen offered to retire if he lost to him. Sonnen "Listen, I made an offer a long time ago but offers don't last forever."
White said Jon Jones was awesome and all but he was only 24 years old and in his opinion, Silva was the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He said everything that came out of Sonnen's match was crazy as hell, but he was the only one who put a beating on Silva since Silva came to the UFC, so he was the real deal.
The press conference ended with a staredown where both guys took turns refusing to look at the other. Obviously, no handshake. As the saying goes, you could cut the tension with a knife. This fight is going to be huge.
You can watch the press conference archive here.