UFC 148: Silva, Sonnen talk respect
ANDERSON SILVA AND CHAEL SONNEN TALK RESPECT
Las Vegas, Nevada – On Saturday night live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the two greatest middleweight fighters in the world will collide for the second time as UFC Champion Anderson Silva defends his title against the one man to seriously challenge him since he annexed the belt six years ago – Chael Sonnen.
After a tense stare-down at yesterday’s pre-fight press conference, the protagonists spoke about the role of respect in mixed martial arts.
ANDERSON SILVA, UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION
“The people in Brazil love Americans but Chael has created a big problem. This is a sport which is important to me. I understand that we promote, but my opinion is we show respect to each other. Then we do our jobs, we fight and entertain, and afterwards there is more respect.
“For the next five years, this sport is No1 for me. I can be here for another 10 years in the UFC. I feel very good and I love my work, I love working hard, and I enjoy being part of the legacy of the UFC.
“My legacy is there. Not just in the UFC, but in the fights I had all over the world before the UFC. If I win this fight, I win, if Chael wins, okay, I lose. But my legacy is part of the UFC legacy with great fighters like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, Vitor Belfort – all of them worked for the sport to make it bigger, make people see this as a sport and make people respect it. That was their legacy and that is what I am part of. I used to watch Gracie and Randy Couture and – oh my God – I respected them. They made me want to be a UFC fighter.
“So what Chael says is not good for UFC. It is not good for the sport. UFC going to China, going to new places and they want to respect the fighters as athletes but with Chael talk, his disrespect of the sport and people and countries… this is bad for the sport.
“I have to win to show the next champion, the next young fighters in Brazil and from around the world, that the UFC and mixed martial arts is about respect. I feel very strongly about this, this is my opinion.
“Playtime is over for Chael. No more talking, now it is work, just the fight. I will teach him respect. That is it.”
CHAEL SONNEN, NO.1 MIDDLEWEIGHT CONTENDER
“I don’t promote fight, I pick fights. Where was the ‘respect’ when Anderson was ducking me for the last two years? Where was the respect for the four years before then when he was ducking me and fighting math teachers and guys who train in their pajamas? This is the biggest fight in the division - and it will be the biggest fight of the year – and Anderson Silva should have respected that.
“I was supposed to get a rematch, but instead I had to fight two gentlemen named Brian Stann and Michael Bisping. Only then did Anderson, after a three-hour talking to from Uncle Dana, finally agree to face me. Respect? I don’t respect him. He’s a very good martial artist, maybe the best, but I am fighter and there’s a world of difference.
“On Saturday night I’m going to wait for him to throw one of those martial arts kicks, I will run my forehead into his chest, take him down to the canvas where I will beat him up for 25 minutes or until he gives up.
“This fight is very serious to me. I would give up everything to be world champion and am ready to do whatever it takes. It is my best 25vminutes against his 25, who can take the most and who can push the most. And I will match my mind, body and soul against any man walking the Earth.”
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