This past week, MMA legend Wanderlei Silva no-showed a press conference ahead of his ‘Bellator NYC’ grudge match with Chael Sonnen on June 24th. While Bellator was quick to put out the fire for ‘The Axe Murderer’ claiming that he was ill, Silva himself has now shed light on why he decided to skip out on the press conference for what is all-but guaranteed to be Bellator MMA’s biggest card ever.
He spoke to MMAJunkie to discuss the situation:
“The truth is, I didn’t go to the press conference because I didn’t want to do what (Cristiane) ‘Cyborg’ (Justino) did with that girl that talked (expletive) to her,”
“When I see Chael, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Silva said. “I’m professional, but the guy has crossed the line with me and played with the wrong guy.”
Silva is of course likely referencing his infamous TUF Brazil brawl with Sonnen, which saw Silva get in The American Gangster’s face before the situation then escalated to a full-on brawl that saw Sonnen get sucker-punched in the back of the head by one of Silva’s men.
While the duo were set to collide in the UFC after their coaching stints on The Ultimate Fighter, the fight was postponed due to a hand injury sustained by Wanderlei Silva during the brawl. Following that, Silva refused to undergo pre-fight random drug screening, and was ultimately pulled from the fight. While the UFC selected Vitor Belfort as a replacement opponent for Sonnen, Sonnen was ultimately then pulled from the fight after he failed a random drug test.
Both men subsequently retired from MMA, following their suspensions, however they both of course ended their retirements and signed with Bellator MMA, which will host their highly anticipated grudge match 4 years after they were initially scheduled to fight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/13/2017.