- Chael Sonnen revealed his epic reunion with Anderson Silva at a press conference
- “The Bad Guy” also detailed how he made peace with Silva’s son after a decade
Chael Sonnen was called up to fill in for Ariel Helwani in a Showtime press tour for the upcoming Anderson Silva vs. Jake Paul boxing match. And little did “The Bad Guy” know, he’d found closure with his former UFC nemesis’ son in the process.
A peaceful reunion
Sharing his thoughts on his monumental reunion with Silva, Sonnen reckoned he didn’t know what to expect but it turned out to be peaceful.
“This represents the first time I’ve seen Anderson in any capacity where I do not have one idea in mind, which is to hit him,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel. “But I (didn’t) know if he feels that same way. … When Anderson walks on stage, I’m of course going to greet him in some fashion. Is he going to greet me back? What is this going to be like? It was great.”
Lines were crossed
In the 2010s, Silva and Sonnen fought twice in the UFC and their rivalry was arguably the most celebrated one in the sport at the time. Known for his signature trash talks, Sonnen often destroyed the then-middleweight champion during pressers and interviews. And at one point, “The Bad Guy” crossed the line when he involved Silva’s family.
“I invoked Anderson’s family at one point,” Sonnen said. “I actually even denied doing this one time. I’d forgot it had happened. We were doing so much media and so much press and somewhere in there I say, ‘I’m coming to his house. I’m kicking his back door in. I’m going to pat his old lady on the ass and have her make me a steak medium-rare just the way I like it.’ Fine, fine. I had a million going in the same day. This one happened… Somebody even asked me about it on Day 11, ‘Hey, you’re talking about his wife, going a little bit too far.’ (I said,) ‘Man, somebody lied to you. I have never talked about an opponent’s wife, nor would I.’ Well, pretty close right there. … Of all the things that I did and all the agitations I did, that’s the one Anderson remembers.”
Sonnen had the chance to apologize, but he botched it, adding:
“I was very inclined to go over, get down on a knee so we’re eye to eye, shake their hands, and say to them, ‘I don’t think you’re going to understand this right now, but your father and I as opponents we’re also in business together.’ I just wanted to make peace,” he continued. “I didn’t want them to be scared and I looked over to them. I looked over to them and they looked at me and they had a look on their face like, ‘Woah, Dad come back. Come back. The evil monster is right here.’ So I didn’t think it would be appropriate.
“I didn’t think it would be appropriate to go up to the kids when their dad wasn’t there – no matter what I was going to say,” he added. “I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it, but I always wished that I had, like somewhere within me. Of all the things (like) I didn’t know how to defend a triangle, of all the things that you would think would go through my mind on this fight, this moment was one. I just never had closure with the family.”
At last, Sonnen found an opportunity to bury the hatchet with Silva’s kids when he ran into one of the Brazilian’s son in a least expected place: inside a bathroom at NeueHouse Hollywood.
“We start talking,” Sonnen said. “Very sweet. Very charismatic. His face and eyes lit up and it finally dawns on me, ‘This is Anderson’s son.’ When I saw him, he was 12, 13 years old. It’s been a decade. He’s a man now. This is that same kid. So I asked him that. I said, ‘Are you Anderson’s boy?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ I told him a story. I said, ‘I saw you and your brother at the press conference. I wanted to come over and say hello.’ Well, he remembered it, too. He knew exactly I was looking at, when I looked at him, when his dad had just left, when he was just there with his brother. He remembered the entire thing. I know that sounds simple, possibly to even wildly entertain you guys. It was for me. It was a ‘for me’ moment.”
“I did get to shake his hand,” he continued. “I did get to wish him well. I follow his career. I follow his brother’s career. … I got to say hello. We could to bury a hatchet. Is that how they say it? I’m not a huge fan of that, by the way. I like a little conflict. I like a little back-and-forth, but not to extend to his son… So I said my piece to him. We were able to walk away. For the first time in my life, for that big moment in my life, I do feel as though, I have closure.”
As it stands, Sonnen and Silva may never be the best of friends in the sport, but it’s good to know that their feud is now over.