By: Jason Kindschy:
The concerns for Chael Sonnen’s safety going into the rematch with champion Anderson Silva in Brazil on June 23rd seem to be very legitimate.
Anderson Silva’s long time manager, Ed Soares, recently made this statement to portaldovaletudo.uol.com.br.
“Hopefully people will understand that they shouldn’t do anything against Chael, just boo him. Let Anderson settle this with him in the Octagon. It will be very bad for Brazil if something happens to him. The guy is an idiot, but he is promoting the fight and it will be the greatest MMA fight of all time.”
The fight will likely be the biggest rematch in MMA history, set to take place at Estádio Olímpico João Havelange in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stadium is set to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, and is expected to hold 60,000 spectators during the summer games four years from now. Dana White has publically stated he expects the stadium to pack upwards of 80,000 fans for UFC 147.
With Chael Sonnen’s brash statements such as, “Hey Anderson, stick to what your country does best, like soccer or harboring infectious diseases,” the concern regarding his safety is well warranted. With death threats sent directly to Mr. Sonnen, and groups on the internet calling for nothing short of his head, we have to wonder what measures the UFC is going to have to take in order to ensure Chael’s safety.
Dana White has hinted at ‘presidential style’ security, and many fighters have made jokes about a helicopter evacuation should the ‘Oregon Gangster’ win the bout. We all know there is usually a great level of respect towards the opponent regardless of the outcome, or the hype going into that fight. The question is will Ed Soares’ request of the Brazilian fans to let Chael Sonnen make safe passage to and from the octagon be heard by Rio de Janeiro, especially should he win.
I guess we will have to wait until June 23rd to find out.