Chael Sonnen: Fighters Agreed with Me That Wanderlei's Pride Bouts Were Rigged


Chael Sonnen: Fighters Agreed with Me That Wanderlei's Pride Bouts Were Rigged

One of the head coaches on season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, Chael Sonnen, is pouring it on his arch nemesis Wanderlei Silva as TUF: Brazil 3 just hit Fight Pass last night. 

Coaching opposite "The Axe Murderer" prior to their May 31 showdown inside the Octagon, "The American Gangster" remains steadfast that his rival's impressive run in Pride was predetermined by matchmakers, per MMA Fighting.  

I'm not dismissing him. But he pulled the wool over people's eyes in Japan with that fake crap. I'll expose his real competitive history every opportunity I get. I outed him many years ago for those fights in Japan being fake. Time out, that referee's wearing an ear piece, it looks like Earl Hebner and his twin brother (two well known pro wrestling referees). Those matches aren't real. I had a teammates who told me the promoter comes in with $10,000 in cash and tells you how this match will go. After I outed him, I got support from (Gary) Goodridge, (Mark) Coleman and (Don) Frye saying Chael's right.

Silva compiled a stunning 21-4 record inside the Pride ring between August 1999 and February 2007, including winning the Pride middleweight title in November 2001 and the Middleweight Grand Prix two years later. 

The Brazilian slugger's last two bouts under the Pride banner were knockout losses to Dan Henderson and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. 

The 37-year-old hasn't been able to translate his past success into the UFC, as he has posted just a 4-5 record since his return to the promotion in December 2007. 

For whatever it's worth, Silva delivered a vintage performance against Brian Stann about one year ago at UFC on FUEL 8, scoring a crushing knockout in the second round. 

Sonnen has also fought Stann, defeating him with an arm triangle choke at their UFC 136 encounter in October 2011. 

For the sake of comparison, Sonnen is 5-4 in his past nine bouts, though three of those matchups were championship bouts and two losses came to then-middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. 

Will Sonnen be able to back up his trash talk and stomp out his old foe once and for all or will Silva's legitimate hatred of his American counterpart fuel him for one more big victory in his career?

John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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