According to MMAJunkie.com, Chael Sonnen’s perpetually running mouth has resulted in the forced cancellation of his trip to Rio de Janeiro this weekend to corner friend and training partner Yushin Okami.
Okami will be facing UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva for the title in the main event of UFC 134 and Sonnen had planned up until recently to attend the show and work Thunder’s corner. Sonnen has done his best to generate a feud not only with Silva (whom he fought for the title in August of last year), but the entire community of Brazilian fighters. The Oregon native has disparaged the country and culture of Brazil in addition to many of its most respected MMA legends and his act has caused one of Okami’s Brazilian sponsors, Praetorian, to threaten to pull their sponsorship if he keeps Sonnen in his corner.
Apparently, Sonnen’s witticisms have drawn the ire of the majority of the South American country’s MMA community and possibly even the local law enforcement, as one report has a police chief threatening to arrest Sonnen the moment he touches Brazilian soil for his anti-Brazilian rants.
Whether there’s credence to that or not is hard to tell, as it comes from Sonnen’s mouth, but either way it looks like America’s favorite gangster is going to be keeping on home turf for this one.
“I only want to be there to help him,” Sonnen told MMAJunkie. “I don’t need to see the show. I can watch the show on TV. I was going exclusively in support of Yushin, and frankly, it’s been headed this way for a long time. It’s been headed the direction of, ‘Hey, this is becoming a distraction.’ This fight isn’t about me. I’m not involved. I’m here to lend you support. But I don’t want things thrown at what will unintentionally be him while he’s in the ring or we’re going to the ring.
“This is serious business. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it’s not my place to disturb it or shift any type of attention to me,” he went on. “This is his moment, his night, his time to be the world champ.”
UFC 134 goes down this Saturday night from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Check back on FightLine.com that night for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.