In this past Sunday’s most recent episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil: Season 3, which can be seen on UFC Fight Pass, coaches and bitter rivals Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen came to blows on the show’s set. It had been well publicized in the lead up to this season’s airing that a full scale brawl between the UFC icons had taken place during filming, and it looked similar to what you would expect.
For a period of time following the TRT debacle, it was uncertain whether their Ultimate Fighter mishap would be the only time we got to see Silva and Sonnen go at; but with the recent addition of their bout at UFC 175, the two will finally get to settle their differences.
It’s always odd seeing trained MMA fighters get into a non-sanctioned physical altercation. We are so used to seeing street fights with flailing idiots that someone wearing blue jeans in a proper Thai-boxing stance just throws us off.
The scrap only lasted a few seconds before being broken up, but let’s break down what little action we were allotted. Starting after the shove, there are a few brief moments of gauging range before Wanderlei fires off a looping hook allowing Chael to change levels and take him down. Yep, that’s it — a few seconds of what we already knew would happen. In fact the only effective shots from Team Wanderlei came from assistant coach Andre Dida, who punched the American in the back of the head as the pair crashed to the floor.
With age Wanderlei has shown the ability to take his time and use his technique in his knockout victory over Cung Le, but if his last thrilling performance against Brian Stann is any indication, a measured approach against Sonnen is unlikely.
With the perceived “pride of Brazil” weighing on his back, Wanderlei’s notoriously aggressive style will be turned up a notch against his most bitter rival; and this is in Chael Sonnen’s favor. Silva has never been easy to drag to the mat in his career, but with his forward movement and looping punches he will be playing directly into Sonnen’s game.
It has been well documented that Chael can be submitted, but he is also known for being able to take a punch. When fighting an opponent who is chasing the knockout, like in his bouts against Nate Marquardt, Brian Stann and Mauricio Rua, the former All-American from the University of Oregon is able to eat the big shots to grab a hold of his foe and take the fight into his world.
Of course with four-ounce gloves and Silva’s power anything could happen, but it’s hard not to imagine their July 5 showdown transpiring much different than their brawl.