After both weighed in at 184 pounds, one pound under the middleweight limit for their title bout in the main event of UFC 148 on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Silva strode over to his challenger and flicked him in the face with his right shoulder.
The fighters had to be separated, and Silva could be fined by the Nevada Athletic Commission for his actions. But he wasn't apologetic when interviewed afterward by Joe Rogan.
"I don't respect Chael" said Silva. "Chael no respect nothing. Chael no respect UFC. Chael no respect my country. Tomorrow I go to fight."
Sonnen, for his part, stayed composed.
"Champion vs. icon," said Sonnen. "Myth vs. legend. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen. The fake guy vs. the bad guy. And only on PPV."
Aside from the main-event fireworks, the main story of the day was the turnout. The UFC doesn't keep official records on weigh-in attendance, but the crowd which packed the Mandalay Bay Events Center has to be the largest to watch a weigh-in in company history. Not only was every available seat in the arena taken, but the aisles on the floor were turned into a makeshift standing-room to accommodate the overflow from the UFC Fan Expo at the adjacent convention center.
The crowd gave both fighters vehement mixed responses, which promises for a memorable atmosphere for Saturday night's event.
All fighters made weight for the event. Complete results:
Main Bouts (Pay-Per-View):
-Anderson Silva (184) vs. Chael Sonnen (184)
-Forrest Griffin (204) vs. Tito Ortiz (204)
-Cung Le (185) vs. Patrick Cote (185)
-Dong Hyun Kim (170) vs. Demian Maia (170)
-Chad Mendes (146) vs. Cody McKenzie (145)
-Ivan Menjivar (136) vs. Mike Easton (135)
Preliminary Bouts (FX):
-Gleison Tibau (155) vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov (155)
-Melvin Guillard (155) vs. Fabricio Camoes (156)
-Costa Philippou (186) vs. Riki Fukuda (185)
-John Alessio (156) vs. Shane Roller (155)