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Anderson Silva: ‘Cocky’ fighters like Conor McGregor ‘can’t cross the line’

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Jose Aldo found the Chael Sonnen for his Anderson Silva in Conor McGregor, and has been forced to deal with it on a daily basis now.

The UFC’s first and only featherweight champion, Aldo is traveling around the world in a UFC 189 tour to promote his July 11 clash with "The Notorious". Silva, who had to listen to Sonnen’s attacks for years, understands the importance of the "bad guy" in the fight business, but asks for respect.

"Everything is valid, but you can’t cross the line. It’s nice to promote events, everybody likes the cocky guy, but you can’t cross the line," Silva said during a quick Q&A session with fans after a seminar in Rio de Janeiro. "There is a fine line and when you cross it… Our sport is a full contact sport. You can’t cross that line too much. You can promote, joke, provoke, but can’t cross the line."

Silva finished Sonnen twice in the Octagon, scoring an epic submission in 2010 and a second-round TKO two years later. Between those fights, Sonnen had hard words for the middleweight champion.

McGregor never talked about Aldo’s family and usually respects Brazil, but that was not how Sonnen behaved.

"Sonnen crossed the line a little bit, disrespected our country and disrespected me, which isn’t cool for our sport," Silva said. "We have women and kids, older people watching this sport. It’s important to know how far we can go with promotion.

"If we don’t promote it the right way, people don’t see you with good eyes, and nobody would associate themselves with a guy that talks trash about the other guy’s country, the other guy’s wife. You have to promote the right way, with respect."

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