UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has shown a proclivity for taking perceived disrespect from opponents very seriously; so it was strange the manner in which he dealt with outspoken contender Chael Sonnen’s shock and awe trash talking campaign leading up to their UFC 117 meeting this past August.
Silva mostly just deflected or ignored Sonnen’s verbal barbs, rather than get fired up like he did against Vitor Belfort or Demian Maia. When they finally met in the cage, the two battled it out over five rounds with Sonnen getting the best of the champ until “The Spider” tied him up in a last-ditch triangle choke late in the fifth round.
Just because Silva chose to take the high road against Sonnen doesn’t mean that he didn’t take note of the controversial Oregonian’s behavior — Silva told Ariel Helwani recently during an appearance on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour that, though he offers credit to the former real estate agent for his fighting ability, he finds Sonnen’s antics to be little more than disrespectful.
“Chael disrespected me, disrespected all of the fans in MMA, Chael disrespected my people in Brazil. Chael no respect nothing,” Silva said. “I don’t know what happened with Chael, but he’s a good fighter. Maybe I don’t look at Chael as a bad guy, but sometimes Chael has a problem with the fight. He has no control. I don’t know. This is Chael’s problem.”
Though Sonnen gave Silva his toughest fight in memory, Silva told Helwani that he has no interest in offering his rival a rematch.
“I fought Chael for five rounds. Chael no win. I don’t go more to fight for Chael,” he said. “I don’t care that Sonnen [wants] another chance for the belt, that’s just my opinion.”
However, just because he doesn’t feel Sonnen deserves a second go-round, doesn’t mean that Silva wouldn’t be willing to fight him if it’s what the UFC asked of him.
“I don’t know. This is Dana’s decision. This is not my decision,” Silva said. “I’m back [fighting] for my academy, I’m back for my friend, I fight for all the guys. [Whoever Dana puts in front of me], I’m going to fight.”
Before Silva can rematch Sonnen though, he must get past another rematch in his next title defense, this one against Yushin Okami at UFC: Rio on August 27.