Wanderlei Silva skipped two trips to the United States to promote his upcoming fight with Chael Sonnen at Bellator NYC. But he guarantees he’s 100 percent ready to face his rival inside the cage.
“The Axe Murderer,” who hasn’t fought since his 2013 victory over Brian Stann in the UFC, told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that he didn’t fly to California last week because he wasn’t “feeling well,” but admitted that he had a special reason not to go to New York for the promotion’s press conference back in March.
"When I (see) this guy, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Silva said. "I’m a professional, but the moment is different. No, I don’t wanna do something before the fight. When I (see) him, I don’t know, everything can happen.”
The rivalry between Silva and Sonnen grew even more after they coached on the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil,” when they literally fought in the gym, but they never had the chance to finally collide inside the Octagon.
Years later, Silva still dislikes the Oregon native.
"If he (does) for me what he (did) for me here in Brazil, man… like my dad says, with a man you can’t play,” Silva said. "And I hope you’ll be better, because, man, against Tito (Ortiz) you were terrible. He’s a good talker, commentator, but, man, to fight… Man, if you don’t train… You have 12 more days. Go run to make you have cardio because I’m gonna beat you so bad.
"He talks so much, he do a lot of bad things for me here in Brazil. He needs to be far from me because when I see him, man, not gonna be good for him. … I felt with a lot of guys, but this guy is different. This is personal. I don’t like him. It’s tough for me to talk about this guy. I saw him, makes me feel sick. I don’t like this guy.”
Sonnen lost to Tito Ortiz via first-round submission in his Bellator debut in January. “The Axe Murderer" laughs at his performance at Bellator 170.
"He looked (like a) kid,” Silva said. "This guy wanna fight with me? [laughs] He's the biggest joke in MMA world, and this time I’m gonna prove. I have a lot of surprises for you guys. You guys are gonna enjoy this fight. … Tito is good, but, him, man, he’s terrible.
"I think it’s gonna be the most easy money I’m making in all of my life. I think it’s going to be the easiest fight of my life."
Silva says the longer the fight goes, the worse it will be for Sonnen. Yet, he doesn’t feel that fighting his longtime rival once will be enough to end with all the bad blood.
"This fight, man, is gonna be totally different for me because this guy crossed all the lines for me,” Silva said. "He has just two weeks to talk. After this two weeks, I’m gonna teach a good lesson for him. I’ll punish him.
"I want to beat him there, in his house, in his garden, and I wanna beat him here in my garden. I’ll beat him there in America, in front of his guys, and I wanna beat him in front of my guys. … Beat him just one time, not going to be enough. I want to beat him two times."