On officially announcing that the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen will take place at the July 7 UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada, during yesterday’s press conference in Rio, Dana White did what was best for business. It wasn’t what Anderson Silva wanted, nor MMA fans in Brazil, who dreamed of a show that would make the sport’s history.
Not this time. “We tried everything to get Silva versus Sonnen in a stadium in Brazil. It didn’t work. We’re going to Vegas, the fight capital of the world,” said the UFC president. The change left Anderson Silva none too pleased. “I’m not happy about the fight not happening in Brazil, but I’m a UFC athlete. I dont just have fans here, I have them the world over,” was the sum of what “The Spider” said at the presser.
To his friends and team, Anderson wasn’t just displeased about not having the Brazilian crowd behind him—some stalwart support. Anderson stated that what he wanted was to give his nemesis a lesson he’d never forget, and in order for his vengeance to be complete, the fight had to be on Brazilian soil.
But could the warm support and noise of the fans influence a fight of such caliber? Could the Brazilian crowd be capable of breaking Sonnen’s steadfast state of mind?
To Amaury Bitetti, an MMA coach and former UFC fighter, the location of the fight does indeed influence the outcome.
“It’s a shame about this decision; this fight had to be here. I feel the crowd helps bolster a fighter’s confidence. Another hindrance about fighting outside Brazil is the climate. You have to get there early to acclimate, and you leave your family behind; it’s rough,” opined the two-time absolute Jiu-Jitsu champion.
Luiz Dórea, Anderson Silva and Team Nogueira’s boxing coach, also felt let down by the final call. “Everyone wanted it to be here, but that’s how it goes. The UFC’s the one that makes the calls. The Brazilian crowd counts. The emotion and energy coming from them makes a difference, without a doubt. But Anderson’s really seasoned; most of his fights are abroad and in the end it doesn’t set him back any.”
PRE-UFC BATTLE PROVOCATIONS
Without a thought to any of that, Chael Sonnen took the opportunity of the presser to return to his usual taunting routine, even snatching the championship belt from right before Silva. And just after the meeting, he provided O Globo newspaper’s Ary Cunha clues as to the reasons for his tomfoolery.
“Sometimes people forget their sense of humor,” said the American with a degree in sociology. “It’s sociology that gives me the poetic license to say the things I do. If you think about it, comedians are always crossing the line in their provocations, and they have the liberty to do so. I know exactly how far I can go. If Brazilians don’t like what I say, then go talk smack about the United States.”
However, when queried as tp whether his doping for his first outing with Silva sullied his performance, Sonnen didn’t find it the least bit amusing, and withdrew from the conversation.
What about you, gentle reader, do you feel the crowd and location could influence the outcome of a rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen? What will be the result this time around? Let us know in the comments field below.