After discovering Chael Sonnen used a performance-enhancing drug for their UFC 117 showdown, middleweight champ Anderson Silva had every right to unload on his chatty challenger. Instead, “The Spider” has quietly gone about rehabbing his ribs and hasn’t acknowledged Sonnen’s cheating ways. Until now…
“I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. I let the people decide,” Silva told Sherdog.com of Sonnen’s alleged PED use. “I’m an athlete, he’s an athlete. We worked hard for the sport, so giving him the benefit of the doubt would be better than for me to speak any kind of nonsense.”
If the fans are going to serve as the jury of Sonnen’s peers, then the court of public opinion has already rendered their guilty verdict due to his uncharacteristic silence and abrupt no-show on ESPN2’s MMA Live. The man that pushed Silva to the brink of defeat in August was to address his flunked drug screening, however pulled out at the 11th hour for undisclosed reasons.
Speaking of last-minute disappointments, Sonnen watched the win of a lifetime slip through his fingers and wrap around his neck for a triangle-armbar submission loss with only 110 ticks remaining on the clock. Leading up to their meeting, insulting anything and everything within earshot of Anderson was fair game as far as Sonnen was concerned. Perhaps that’s why the planet’s baddest 185-pounder felt the need to defend his amigos’ honor and validate their famed jiu jitsu credentials.
Although it took nearly the entire scrap to execute, Silva ultimately secured the death grip and hopes his point finally got across.
“The thing is we don’t disrespect anyone, and Brazil never disrespected anybody. We’ve always been there and done our job,” the champ said. “All Brazilian fighters are recognized worldwide for technical quality and the fantastic performances we have had inside and outside our country. We have a history with martial arts, and Sonnen should be thanking a Brazilian, who created the show, for the opportunity he has to fight in the UFC today. We can’t disrespect other fighters.
“I submitted him because he spoke ill of the Nogueiras.”
Although Octagon brass awarded Sonnen with an instant mulligan following his nearly flawless performance – and now it appears we know why he was so studly – the division’s king never felt Sonnen’s showing in Oakland, California warranted a do over.
“In my opinion, he never deserved a rematch. He stayed in the same position all fight,” Silva matter-of-factly stated. “I don’t think he deserves a rematch. If he couldn’t win in 30 minutes with me injured, could he win in a rematch? Maybe, maybe not.”
About that pre-UFC 117 injury…
“It was carelessness on my part. My doctor gave me an earful for fighting with an injured rib,” he shared. “Everything was signed and had already been promoted. I was out of the country for a few months and away from my family. My grandmother died when I was away.
“Since I was away from my family, my friends, my home and my teammates, I felt like I had to fight. If I was there, it was to fight.”
Silva is expected to defend his title against Vitor Belfort on February 5th during Super Bowl weekend. That’s assuming his side is fully healed, of course.