They were once bitter rivals, but now, Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen are extremely cordial.
Over the course of their two middleweight title fights in the UFC, Silva and Sonnen were part of arguably the biggest rivalry in mixed martial arts.
Sonnen shook things up to a new level with his trash talk as he went personal with Silva on a number of occasions which only built up the anticipation for their fights further.
In the end, “The Spider” had the last laugh as he would defeat Sonnen twice and ultimately put an end to their memorable rivalry.
They have since buried the hatchet and that was on display even more during Silva’s press conference with Jake Paul ahead of their boxing match on October 29.
— Helen Yee (@HelenYeeSports) September 12, 2022
Sonnen was notably hosting the press conference and got a chance to speak alongside Silva afterwards as they reflected on their rivalry.
“Every great memory I have in the sport, all my great memories involve Anderson,” Sonnen told The Mac Life. “I think I was one of the guys along Anderson’s career but he was the guy in my career. Anderson keeps me alive. … When Anderson stops, it’s going to be very painful for guys like me.”
Silva was also full of praise for Sonnen and believes they created something special that will live on forever.
“I feel so happy because Chael and I created something for the new generation,” Silva said. “Everybody talks about fighting, the UFC, but everybody is going to remember the day that me and Chael fought in the UFC. …
“Chael is a wrestler and working hard in school for many years. Imagine how many kids are doing better in school because Chael did his best. I help[ed] a lot of kids in Brazil and the rest of the world when I fought Chael. People respect us because I believe Chael and I did something very special for the world.”
Chael Sonnen: My Rivalry With Anderson Silva Will Live On Forever
Whether it was the greatest rivalry in the sport is debatable, but it’s definitely up there.
Sonnen particularly takes pride when people call it the greatest because that means he and Silva left something behind in the sport that lives on and still continues to influence the UFC today.
“You must shake hands and walk away,” Sonnen said. “You have your dispute but it is settled right here. We shook hands and walked away.
“People say it is the greatest rivalry ever but that means something to me. You want to leave something behind and you don’t always get to do it. I feel like me and Anderson did. … I think we do live on and I think this rivalry did change the way the sport is presented.”
You can watch it below: