After coming off one of the busiest UFC weekends I can ever recall, the promotion now has this weekend off before gearing up for what should be the most anticipated fight in 2012. Anyone who happened to catch UFC 117 in August of 2010 knows what the audience is in for come July 7th.
In case you missed the first bout, here’s a quick re-cap of how we got here. Anderson Silva is widely considered the #1 Pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He holds a number of defining UFC records, some of the most notable categories being;
Most opponent knock-downs (15)
Highest significant stike accuracy (68.5)
Longest UFC win streak (14)
Most title fights (10)
Most title defenses (9)
and of course, highest UFC win percentage (1.000)
However, coming into the first bout between these two, UFC president Dana White was threatening to cut, Anderson Silva from the UFC promotion for making a mockery out of his 5-round victory over Demian Maia at UFC 112. In that fight, Silva dominated Maia both mentally and physically, and proceeded to make a fool out of Maia in front of the large Abu Dhabi crowd. As a result, White released this statement before Silva would enter the cage again.
“I’m telling you right now, if he acts like that again in the ring, I will cut him,” said White. “I don’t care if he’s the pound for pound best fighter in the world. I don’t care if he’s the middleweight champion.”
Lucky for Anderson, most of the negative attention was drawn away from himself, and was absorbed by his next opponent, Chael Sonnen, who seemed to feed off of it all. Sonnen vowed to fans and critics around the world that Anderson Silva would not embarrass himself or the organization again because he wouldn’t be able to, he would be fighting for his life instead. When fight night finally arrived, Chael managed to reinforce his earlier statements for more than four rounds, constantly taking Silva to the ground and keeping the fight under control. Unfortunate for Sonnen, he’s been known to recklessly spend all of his energy working the ground game, and as a result has been defeated by a submission in 8 of his 11 losses. This was the case in UFC 117 as well. Silva managed to lock in an air-tight triangle arm-bar with just over 2 minutes remaining in the 25 minute fight, forcing Sonnen to tap-out to everything he’d built up leading to this fight.
Now here we are in the summer of 2012, and it seems to be happening all over again. Except this time there seems to be one notable difference in the hype, Anderson Silva now knows how dangerous an opponent Sonnen can be, and yesterday fired back at Chael verbally over the UFC’s routine pre-fight conference call. While Chael has been feeding the media everything they want to hear, Anderson has grown increasingly tired and disgusted with his opponent. Unable to control his emotions during the call, Anderson began yelling angrily in his native language of Portuguese before abruptly hanging up in the middle of the conference call. Not to be outdone by his rival, Chael Sonnen offered up a few more comments before following suit, also hanging up on the UFC executives.
Translators were on hand to relay Silva’s comments, and when revealed in English, it’s safe to say it took the fight world by storm.
So, feast your eyes on the new and improved, trash-talking Anderson Silva!
Silva’s outburst consisted of the following,
“What I’m going to do inside the Octagon is something that’s going to change the image of the sport,” Silva said. “I’m going to make sure every one of his teeth are broken, his arms are broken, his legs are broken. “He’s not going to be able to walk out of the Octagon by himself. I can guarantee that.”
Before also hanging up, Sonnen offered one more comment to promote the magnitude of this middleweight championship re-match, “There is no fight in combat history that’s got as much weight and as much emotion, not just from the fans and media but from the athletes participating, as this one,” Sonnen said. “So, the stakes are completely different.”
Lastly, UFC president Dana White offered up his two cents on what he’d just heard from the champ saying, “I’ve promoted every Anderson Silva fight since he’s been in the UFC and I’ve never heard him talk even remotely close to this,” White said.
While nobody should EXPECT another 5 round epic that mirrors their first encounter, fans can still take solace in knowing they may never see two UFC opponents who dislike each other this much, be able to finally settle the score. The already soaring tension will only continue to grow as we edge ever closer to witnessing next Saturday night’s middleweight title bout. Oh yeah, did I mention Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin are on this card?!
Stay tuned for my full UFC 148 fight analysis and predictions which will be coming your way next Thursday, July 5th.