UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen is brash, controversial and opinionated. But he could also be the man to end Brazilian Anderson Silva's UFC domination?
After two long years and a variety of controversies that nearly derailed his career, Sonnen will face Silva next month in Las Vegas in what is anticipated to be one of most watched UFC fights in MMA history.
Two years ago, Sonnen dominated Silva for 4 and a half rounds before Silva miraculously submitted Sonnen in the final minutes.
In this Fox News Latino interview Sonnen shares his feelings on Silva, Brazil and much more.
*For audio of the interview CLICK HERE.
Fox News Latino: So you’ve got the biggest fight out there? The first fight was epic. People talk about it all the time. It’s something that’s been on everyone’s mind. We had a few things that delayed it, but it’s finally happening next month, you and Anderson Silva. What can people expect?
Chael Sonnen: Well, I think your question is the answer. This is the biggest fight of all time. This is the biggest sporting event of 2012. When I made that statement, I had somebody come up to me and say, “Oh, please, what about the Olympics?” And my response is, “Oh please, what about the Olympics?” Don’t bring up the Olympics just because every TV in America has it on in the background while they’re eating dinner and nobody knows what’s going on. The Olympics won’t have the amount of t-shirts bought that say “Sonnen” on them for any athlete out there. Nobody’s anticipated, nobody’s throwing parties, nobody’s wagering bets, and nobody paid for the ticket to the Olympic Games. What they’ve paid to get into the MGM on the seventh of July. This is the biggest fight in the history of this sport and it should be. It absolutely should be. The first fight was Fight of the Year. I’ve done everything I can do to pick a fight with this guy. He’s done everything he can do to get out of this fight, and it is going to happen on seven-seven at seven p.m. and only on Pay per View.
FNL: Now you’ve had a few fights. You beat Brian Stann; you beat Michael Bisping; you beat them both. Anderson Silva has not really had a lot of action this past year. Is that something you’re factoring in? Are you going to go out there and hope for the best Anderson Silva?
Anderson Silva takes fights that he knows he can win. He picks on people who he knows are weaker than him... I will fight any man God ever made, and if I didn’t prepare properly, I got a beating coming my way. When my music hits those speakers, I will make that walk and I will take it like a man, either way.
- Chael Sonnen
Sonnen: No, I never hope for the best Anderson Silva. I get asked that a lot. I always kind of scratch my head with the silliness. Why would I ever hope for the opponent to be at his best? I’ve never got that. But the reality is best Anderson, worst Anderson, and either Anderson.
I will win this fight. I will beat whatever guy shows up. And as far as his inactivity, that’s on him. If he’d like, you know, some guys like to fight once a year. I don’t. I’d rather fight every weekend. I came from a wrestling background. I wrestled five or six guys every week. I hate the process where we only have three fights a year. I don’t get it.
FNL: You’re getting a lot of flack. This has been the main story and you might be a little tired of talking about it, but the whole Brazil factor; the fact that you’re not fighting in Brazil, you’re fighting in the U.S. Is that a real advantage, or do you even care?
Sonnen: No, there’s definitely no advantage, I wouldn’t think. And, you know, let’s not forget, we’re fighting a lot closer to Anderson’s home than we are mine. Anderson claims he’s Brazilian when it’s convenient, but the fact is he lives in Beverly Hills. So Beverly Hills is a lot closer to the MGM Grand then West Linn, Oregon. Anderson Silva will have a much shorter plane ride to get to the venue than I do. So let’s not forget that. This guy’s been an American for over ten years, though he doesn’t like to admit it publicly.
FNL: You have been very candid in your thoughts on the country of Brazil. Some of the Brazilian fans that are big Anderson Silva fans are offended. Do you even care that they’re offended?
Sonnen: I see why they would be, and I’m glad.
FNL: Are you a hundred percent guaranteeing that you are going to beat Anderson Silva in a couple weeks?
Sonnen: Never. Never. That’s what a bully does. That’s what Anderson Silva Does. Anderson Silva takes fights that he knows he can win. He picks on people who he knows are weaker than him. It’s the same thing that dirt bag Mike Tyson did for years. I will fight any man God ever made, and if I didn’t prepare properly, I got a beating coming my way. When my music hits those speakers, I will make that walk and I will take it like a man, either way.
*This interview was conducted last week before Anderson Silva's conference call with the media where he promised to harm Sonnen and "change the image of the sport." Listen to the audio below.
Sonnen also spoke to me about his book "The Voice of Reason" and his thoughts on politics.
Sonnen: Why in the world [President Obama] has decided to turn Americans on one another and villain-ize success is beyond reprehensible. It’s beyond inappropriate. I mean, he’s got such a pothead mentality. He got, you know, he’s got that guy that’s smoking weed and he, you know, “Whatever, man, do whatever you want,” and he’s putting accountability aside, he’s putting success, he’s putting hard work, he’s putting the guy that’s motivated, sees an opportunity and sees an idea, and he’s villain-izing that.
For the full article and audio of Chael Sonnen's views on politics go to our sister site Fox Nation.
Follow Victor Garcia at @MrVicGarcia on Twitter.