Chael Sonnen has done a masterful job in selling tonight’s pay-per-view broadcast with his critically acclaimed comedy tour. However, middleweight king Anderson Silva stands to benefit the most financially despite allowing his chatty challenger to handle all of the UFC 117 pre-fight hoopla.
During this week’s press conference, UFC president Dana White was asked whether he’d grown tired of Silva’s reluctance to promote his own scraps even when he pockets a chunk of the PPV revenue. Although he remains one of the sport’s most popular athletes, Silva continues to play the no hablo ingles card.
“Every guy, even Anderson, has gone out and had to do the promotion for the fight and sell the fight, and every guy is going to do it in his own way. Never at any point do I go to a guy and say “Listen, this is what you need to do and this is what you need to say.’
“I haven’t told anybody at this podium what to say. Ever. They are who they are, and they are going to be who they are, and I’m not going to tell anybody to act a certain way.”
Silva’s devastating skills have been well documented, however “The Spider” has been MIA in his last three lackluster middleweight title defenses. While most believe the planet’s deadliest 185-pounder has grown bored of the level of competition his division has to offer, the promoter believes Silva’s mojo will be back tonight inside Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.
“I don’t think that that’s the case,” White said of his superstar’s alleged disinterest. “I think Anderson has had a rough couple of fights … Everybody knows what happened, and I can’t speak for Anderson, Anderson can speak for himself, but I’m sure he’s focused and wants to get back in there and do what he does best. Do what I think he’s capable of and the rest of the whole world thinks he’s capable of.
“A lot of things have been said [by Chael] and I think he’s taking the ‘I’m not gonna say too much and we’ll see what happens’ approach. I’m sure he really wants to fight Chael Sonnen [tonight].”
As for the Brazilian, this has become old hat.
“If you’ve followed my career, you’ve seen this is the way I have been since I started in the UFC,” Silva said of his ho-hum ways. “I have never been much of a talker. My focus is going in and doing my job inside the Octagon. If you’ve seen my fights, you’d see that’s how I’ve always been.
“I’m just focused on going in there, doing my job and beating up my opponent like I always do.”