One of the most heated rivalries in UFC history will come to a
head during the next season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil when
Chael Sonnen squares off against Wanderlei Silva, first as coaches
on the reality show and then as opponents in the Octagon.
UFC President Dana White announced the news during an interview
with FOX Sports Live on Monday while being interviewed by Sonnen,
who found out the news while speaking to his boss.
“I told everybody we wouldn’t release it until sometime late
November,” White said. “I guess we’ll do it here. The coaches of
The Ultimate Fighter Brazil are Wanderlei Silva and Chael
“That one’s going to piss off a lot of people. It’s happening.
Then those two will fight. You two will coach The Ultimate Fighter,
you will have a ton of security down there with you, and it should
be a fun season.”
The security part comes in reaction to Sonnen’s barbs thrown at
the country of Brazil, and he undoubtedly will be an antagonist
during the season opposite Silva.
Over the last few months, the simmering disdain between Sonnen
and Silva has boiled over into full-blown hatred. The two fighters
have launched comments toward each other via social media and
For the past year, Sonnen has made Silva public enemy No. 1 with
a constant barrage of insults and insinuations aimed at the former
Pride champion. In response, Silva opted to make a series of
bizarre, heavy-metal-themed YouTube videos in his native Portuguese
in which he launches into expletive-filled tirades directed toward
the self-proclaimed “American Gangster.”
Most recently, Silva came after Sonnen in a more public venue
when the two fighters appeared at a Mr. Olympia convention in Las
Vegas. Silva charged across the arena floor and confronted Sonnen,
threatening to rain down violence on the former middleweight title
contender while having a camera crew capture the entire ordeal on
While the two fighters both appeared on board to face off, Silva
was recovering from a back injury that will keep him out of action
until early 2014, so the UFC opted to match Sonnen against Rashad
Evans in a fight that will take place at UFC 167 in November.
Once Sonnen is finished with Evans — win, lose or draw
— he will face Silva next after a stint as coach on The
Ultimate Fighter Brazil.
This will be a second run as coach on The Ultimate Fighter for
both competitors. Sonnen coached season 17 against Jon Jones, while
Silva participated in the first ever season of The Ultimate Fighter
Brazil when he faced off with Vitor Belfort.
The two fighters are expected to begin filming the new Ultimate
Fighter in the next few months, presumably after Sonnen finishes
his fight with Evans, and then they will head to Brazil to coach
the newest crop of fighters looking to make their way to the
When the season is over, Sonnen will then face Silva inside the
Octagon as the two light heavyweights look to settle their
differences once and for all.