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Wanderlei Silva: Chael Sonnen’s One-Year Punishment Is Too Harsh

PRIDE legend and current UFC middleweight fighter Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva took it upon himself recently to point out to fellow UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen where he went wrong in promoting his UFC 117 fight against middleweight champ Anderson Silva. Sonnen launched a smear-campaign against the champ several months out from the fight and though he provided some serious entertainment, he also offended many of his peers (particularly his Brazilian peers) when his verbal attacks against “The Spider” deviated into jabs at Brazil as a country and some of its more respected MMA practitioners (most notably, the Nogueira brothers).

“The Axe Murderer” called Sonnen out for taking things too far and targeting more than just the champion. Silva warned Sonnen against bad-mouthing Brazil and the Nogueira brothers and called him out for speaking on things he doesn’t know about. The confrontation was tense but Sonnen opted not to fire back at Silva and things went no further after Silva said his piece. “The Axe Murderer” recently spoke with about the confrontation and while he was discussing a possible future bout with Sonnen, he actually lamented the fact that the brash Oregonian is being forced to sit out of MMA competition for one year due to testing positive for performance enhancing drugs; Silva believes that Sonnen’s punishment is too harsh, no matter how he feels about him personally.

“Maybe I am gonna fight with him but he has a year out. That’s tough you know, I think a year is too much time,” Silva said. “Like Dana [White, UFC president] says, the guys are taking his job away for a year and that’s terrible because this guy has a family, this guy needs the work.”

Silva pointed out that Sonnen should be punished for his infraction but that the sentence should be lessened.

“I think six months is OK, a year is too much time,” he said. “For sure this is wrong, you can’t take the job from a guy for a year. That’s bad.”

Silva is currently out rehabbing a knee injury which required surgery but is looking at a return bout against Chris Leben, who called “The Axe Murderer” out after stepping in for him against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116. The Brazilian MMA legend has mentioned several times that he would like to face Sonnen possibly after fighting Leben.