When rumors first surfaced that the Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen rematch would have to be moved from a soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro to Las Vegas, it was also rumored that Silva was adamantly opposed to the idea and that UFC president Dana White was having a hell of a time convincing him to play ball.
Once it was finally announced that the fight had been moved to Vegas, White even admitted to having had difficulty persuading Silva to take the fight off of home soil.
According to a recent report by FightersOnly (which cites O Globo), Uncle Dana did, in fact, have to spend quite awhile arguing with Silva to get him to take the fight. Silva had every intention to make Sonnen pay for everything he’s said about him and the Brazilian people on Brazilian soil. With logistics issues plaguing the bout though, Silva eventually relented and pledged to teach Sonnen a lesson wherever they go.
One of the fighter’s managers explained one of the reasons why Silva reluctantly accepted the fight in Vegas after what was reportedly a 75-minute back-and-forth with White.
“Anderson knows this partnership with UFC is for life,” said Jorge Guimaraes. “There are no motives to get into friction with the event, so we accepted to fight in Vegas. We don’t go against the UFC, we go on the same side – after all, Anderson is its employee.”
Silva and Sonnen are expected to headline UFC 148, which takes place on July 7 at the MGM Grand.