You would be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of Wanderlei Silva than me. From his time in Pride, to his frenzy against Brian Stann, his beautiful violence has captivated me through the years and for that I will always support him. But I will absolutely be rooting for Chael Sonnen when Silva meets him in a month or two. Why? How did I find it possible to abandon one of the all-time greats? I finally got to see that Silva is an absolute psycho in person.
In the world we live in now, it is impossible to escape a camera or video, so now when people become fans of fighters, they really take in not only that fighter’s style, but his morals and faults. Silva is coaching opposite of Sonnen for this season’s Brazil Ultimate Fighter, and is has practically destroyed his appeal. Sonnen has gone on record saying that he was fully willing, and expecting, to be the hell of the season. Instead, Silva started an on-camera brawl that ended with one of his friends sucker-punching Sonnen in the back of the head. The brawl was entirely started by Silva and Sonnen simply reacted.
In a country like Brazil, which holds honor and respect very high, this was a huge no-no. It made Sonnen seem like the better man because not only did he not want to fight, but he was ganged up on. In a recent poll taken by Brazilians, the majority of them are going to now cheer for Sonnen. Is there anything that Silva can do? Not at this point — I would say that the damage has been done. The best he can hope for is to win the fight against Sonnen, publicly apologize, and hopefully put on another great performance in his next fight.