MMA legend Wanderlei Silva was set to fight UFC veteran Chael Sonnen nearly three years ago at the TUF Brazil 3 Finale in 2014. Unfortunately, due to a brawl that occurred mid-season, which resulted in Silva injuring his hand, the fight was postponed. Silva then refused to take a random drug test, and was pulled from the fight, leading to a very public dispute with the UFC.
Sonnen was then booked to fight Vitor Belfort, who was stepping in for Silva. Sonnen then failed a random out-of-competition drug test, and was pulled from the fight as well. Subsequently, he then announced his retirement from MMA on an episode of UFC Tonight.
Despite the fact that the fight fell through, Sonnen and Silva both held strong distaste for one another, infrequently taking shots at one another on social media.
Now, with the pair set to fight at Bellator 180, Silva is vowing to beat Sonnen up.
He released a statement through his official Facebook page:
“It’s a pleasure to tell you guys that my fight against Chael Sonnen at Bellator 180 is a done deal. It’s an old rivalry that will finally be settled. I have 49 fights and I really wanted to have my fight number 50. Even more than that, it had to be against him. I was supposed to face Cro Cop in the end of 2016, but I wasn’t able to heal. But I really wanted to have my 50th fight against Sonnen and it will be. And I’ll beat him up.”
While Sonnen is coming off a loss to Tito Ortiz in his most recent fight, Silva hasn’t fought since 2013, when he picked up a 2nd round KO win over Brian Stann in arguably one of the most exciting fights in UFC history.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/22/2017.