Dana White's 75-minute argument with Anderson to move Sonnen rematch

Dana White's 75-minute argument with Anderson to move Sonnen rematch
April 26th 2012

Anderson Silva didn't lash out publicly at Dana White when the UFC president declared he wanted to move the rematch with Chael Sonnen to Las Vegas, USA - but on the quiet he was very upset.

It took the UFC president 75 minutes to convince him to fight Chael Sonnen in Las Vegas instead of Rio de Janeiro and this was the reason for the press conference delay yesterday.

The talk was heated - initially Anderson refused to change the venue of what could be the rematch of the century. Two years ago, the Brazilian middleweight champion defeated Sonnen in an epic combat. The upcoming confrontation was set to occur at Stadium Engenhao in Rio, and would have been the biggest show of UFC history with 80 thousand tickets to be sold.

But the date coincided with international events in the city and White alleged Rio would not have the infrastructure to hold the fighting event. “There wouldn't have been enough hotel rooms,” he said.

The champion was frustrated and insisted on fighting in Brazil. Anderson told Dana that Sonnen had been disrespectful with him, his family and all the Brazilian. “He deserves to taught a lesson here, I owe this to my people", repeated Silva. But Dana was adamant. “If there is no way to make the event in a stadium, it has to be in Las Vegas,” said the company president.

Dana explained that Las Vegas is a city that has structure to promote the UFC from one day to the next. The capital of betting and fights is there, remarked the boss. He reminded Silva of the appeal that the bout will have in the United States landing as it does in the week of the celebrations for Independence Day.

He spoke about the potential of the Pay-per-view sales it would generate and in the end, he guaranteed a good percentage of the pay-per-view share to Anderson. As with so many things in life, money talks louder than anything.

After a lot of discussion Anderson concluded by turning to White and asking “Okay, so tell me - what do you want from me?” White answered, “I want you go to Las Vegas and perform well, make it a great fight.” It was then the champion formally accepted the mission. “If it has to be like this, I will beat this guy wherever. He deserves a lesson.”

Dana was excited with the 'yes' of Anderson. He told him he was the “perfect UFC ambassador in Brazil” and also reaffirmed that the Brazilian “is the best fighter ever made in MMA - today everybody talks about Jon Jones but for me you are the best by far,” said a smiling White.

Anderson now blames the UFC’s Brazilian investment partner Eike Batista and his IMX company for the failure to organize efficiently what would have been the ‘UFC Rio 3’. IMX is UFC partner and promotes the fights of the UFC in Brazil. Anderson thinks they didn't understand the size of the event and didn't have sufficient competence to make it.

Anderson's managers are frustrated with the moving of the bout to USA but they recognize that it can be a good deal. The pay-per-view rates promise to beat or to get close to the record. And, having reversed his refusal to fight in the US, the champion scores important points with the organisation.

The UFC plans to invest in academies in Brazil with the brand Anderson Silva/UFC. The event recognizes in Anderson the biggest MMA talent of all time and wishes to use his image even when he gets retired.

“Anderson knows this partnership with UFC is for life,” Jorge Guimaraes told Noblat. “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.”

The duel could have been kept in Brazil but it would take place at a smaller location than a soccer stadium. "A fight of this magnitude has to be at a grand place and Las Vegas is a good venue,” Jorge said.

UFC 147 has no venue set as yet but the schedule stays untouched: June 23. The event will likely be headlined by Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort, unless the organisation confirms the featherweight champion Jose Aldo to defend his belt in the same card. 


  • It's true

    Posted at 18:21 on April 26th 2012

    Hey Eduardo are you related to the fat kid on Modern Family?

    Reply to comment

  • UFCfightblogger

    Posted at 05:20 on April 27th 2012

    I think Anderson is going to walk through Chael. Don't see Chael hanging with Anderson this time around. Anderson might have been hurt last time and still pulled it out, this time he won't be. Chael has got to have something else in his toolbox or he is going to be in big trouble.

    Check out this article about Anderson

    Reply to comment

  • Peter Anderson

    Posted at 10:17 on April 28th 2012

    From a long distance viewer. I live in Melbourne Australia.

    I think Chael is actually a show-biz 'MiChael'. e.g. Mi-chael.
    I think he has a 'mouth', it belongs in the trash, which is where it will end up.
    It will be a great fight! It will be a tough, bloody battle, I believe it may end early via submission or stoppage.
    silver for me!

    Reply to comment

  • Royce Gracie

    Posted at 20:54 on May 1st 2012

    Injured my *** ... and Chael has fought the same way forever...he is able to capitalize in the weakness of Silva....Silva cant stop Chael from dumping him time and time again and punching a hole in his face....he may get caught in a submission like last time but if not he wins hands down and in dominate fashion!

    Reply to comment

  • Chaves

    Posted at 12:14 on May 2nd 2012

    Chael punch Silva in the face for 5 rounds and in the end Chael's face locked way more damaged than Silva's. And people still belivies that Chael is a treat to Silva... Ok them... Pay Silva more money to take some rabbit punches and get his hand raised in the end... And they call this the biggest fight in the UFC??? Please...

    Reply to comment

  • Royce Gracie

    Posted at 14:01 on May 2nd 2012

    Chaves did you see the fight? Chael was a couple of minutes from a lop sided beat down! Granted he got caught...but if not the score cards would have prob. read...50-45 x3...dude!!! that is the definition of domination!! Nobody has come close to doing that to Silva..dont care what he says...he knows he has a load in Chael Sonnen...and he is concerned!

    Reply to comment

  • Chaves

    Posted at 19:26 on May 2nd 2012

    Yeah, I have seen this fight at least 5 times. And Chael was ahead in points... but he lost the fight, and if they fight 10 times he's gonna lose 10 times.

    And like I said, he scores more points, but it doesn't mean that Silva got hurt. That's what people don't understand about this fight. Silva could end that fight in the first round, but he chose to fight 5 rounds and win in the end, and you know why? At that time people was complaining that his fights ended too fast.

    Watch that fight again and pay more attention, in the first round Silva tries to pull up the same triangle that ended the fight, but then he pulled up guard again and waited to do it again in the last round.

    You use Royce Gracie's name but you don't understand BJJ. Sonnen said some crazy stuff about BJJ and for the first time Silva shows up wearing a JJ gi... Can you figure out why?

    Reply to comment

  • Bluntz

    Posted at 04:17 on May 5th 2012

    Chael is a steroid user, he is a disgrace to the sport and shouldnt even be competing. UFC might be the largest promotion but they are truly hurting the sport by letting a disgraced Chael compete again. Dont get me wrong i find him quite entertaining and he brings flavour and entertainment to the sport. But he had his chance for the belt and chose to cheat. He doesnt deserve a second chance.

    Reply to comment

  • Royce Gracie

    Posted at 11:19 on May 14th 2012

    Been on vacation..sorry for the late post reply are you freaking serious? You think Silve let himself get pounded, and yes he was bruised and battered dude, for 4.5 the most disrespectful person to him personally..please! The Damian M fight...yeah he let that go and could have..should have finished it in R1...and he got chastized and his belt threatened for it! He is a great fighter..but chael exposed his weakness and frustrated him. I admit I dont claim to know the ins andf outs of BJJ but I dont need to either. Seriously though matter how this fight sane fighter lets that happen to him..all the while planning to finish it with half a round to go...come on!

    Reply to comment

  • jarrett

    Posted at 02:23 on May 16th 2012

    Chael punch Silva in the face for 5 rounds and in the end Chael's face locked way more damaged than Silva's. And people still belivies that Chael is a treat to Silva... Ok them... Pay Silva more money to take some rabbit punches and get his hand raised in the end... And they call this the biggest fight in the UFC??? Please...

    Reply to comment

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