The highly anticipated UFC light heavyweight grudge match between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will take place on Brazilian soil after all. The pair were initially targeted to act as the co-main event at UFC 173 in Las Vegas on May 24, but president Dana White has announced that their bout will now headline an event in Brazil on May 31, likely as part of the promotion’s Fight Night series.
The two bitter rivals are currently filming and on at least one occasion brawling their way through season three of the Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. The on-set dustup between the two fighters and coaches didn’t come up as much of a surprise given the animosity between the two. They’ve been trading verbal barbs back and forth for quite some time, and were involved in a highly-publicized confrontation at an expo event in Las Vegas several months ago. Having the matchup in Brazil seems a fitting end for this heated feud.
Sonnen was last seen getting punched into submission in the first round of his bout at UFC 167 by former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. It’s hoped that a matchup against a hated enemy in Silva will allow “The American Gangster” to bring much more fire to the Octagon than what we saw against his good friend and broadcasting colleague Evans in November. He’s vowing to retire the “Axe Murderer” when they finally meet inside the Octagon.
As for Silva, he’s been bothered by injuries since a thrilling second-round stoppage of Brian Stann last March in what was one of the more exciting bouts of 2013. The fight produced both Fight and Knockout of the Night bonuses. Silva will be looking to make it back-to-back victories and no doubt can’t wait to settle his long-time grudge with Sonnen.
It’s a sure bet that the exciting Brazilian, who has 27 knockout victories in 35 career wins, will do what he always does — swing for the fences.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports