Jeff Chiu/The Associated Press
Monday, June 25, 2012 | 3:30 p.m.
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- UFC coverage
For more than two years, Chael Sonnen has belittled Anderson Silva in every possible way.
Sonnen has mocked Silva’s legacy, his Brazilian heritage and his performance when the two first fought at UFC 117. After staying silent a majority of the time, Silva may have reached his breaking point Monday morning.
Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) went off on Sonnen (28-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC) during a conference call to preview their middleweight championship rematch, scheduled for UFC 148 on July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“I’m going to beat his (butt) like it’s never been beaten before,” Silva yelled in his native Portuguese, according to a translator. “I’m going to make sure every one of his teeth are broken, his arms are broken, his legs are broken. He’s going to not be able to walk out of the octagon by himself. I can guarantee that.”
Okay, then. Boasts like that wouldn’t have come as a shock from some fighters in the UFC. But Silva, the man considered the pound-for-pound best in the history of the sport, is different.
This is a fighter who rarely answers questions from media with more than a sentence. Silva frustrated UFC President Dana White, media and fans before the last fight with Sonnen when he refused to give more than one-word answers on a similar teleconference.
Sonnen has always attempted to get a rise out of Silva. He finally succeeded.
“I’ve promoted every Anderson Silva fight since he’s been in the UFC, and I’ve never heard him talk remotely close to this,” White said. “He usually doesn’t say anything negative or disrespectful.”
Silva couldn’t stop with the negativity on Monday. He responded to any inquiry thrown his way with a threat.
“I’m going to make him pay and make him eat everything he said not only about myself but about our country, about everything,” Silva said. “I’m going to make him pay and make sure he never disrespects any Brazilian or any fighter. I’m going to beat him maybe the way his parents should have beaten him to teach him some manners.”
For once, the trash-talking Sonnen wasn’t at the center of attention for a media function. He barely received a chance to speak at all.
But when Sonnen did address the more than 100 reporters on the call, he didn’t back down.
“He thinks that’s funny to say he’s going to break my face,” Sonnen said. “Tell him I got two words for him — medium rare.”
Those are the two words that may have incited Silva’s anger to reach another level months ago. Silva felt personally attacked when Sonnen told veteran reporter Mauro Ranallo he planned on “kicking down (Silva’s) backdoor and patting his little lady on the (butt) and telling her to make me a steak, medium rare just how I like it.”
“The first time we fought, he stepped out the loser,” Silva said. “And he’s going to step out the loser again this time. The only difference is this time he’s going to have to see a plastic surgeon after the fight.”
With that, Silva hung up on the call. He said all he felt needed to be said, according to manager Ed Soares.
Never one to be outdone, Sonnen also vacated the line.
“Looks like we’re going to have to wrap this thing up,” White said with a chuckle. “I guess that’s it.”
It’s safe to say White didn’t foresee Silva’s outburst coming. Minutes earlier, to open the call, he had to defend Silva’s track record with the media.
A reporter asked White if he was disappointed by the way Silva rarely goes out of his way to promote a fight.
“He could be a deaf (expletive) mute for Christ’s sake,” White said. “It doesn’t matter. What he does when he gets in the octagon is amazing. That’s what you’re showing up for or paying to see.”
That response was irrelevant 15 minutes later. Silva was nothing close to mute.
For the first time in his career, Silva’s talking matched his fighting.
“Play time is over,” Silva said. “I’m going to beat Chael like he’s never been beaten before. No more talking. I know he’s on the line listening. The game is over.”