Chael Sonnen Explains How Feud With Wanderlei Silva Started

Chael Sonnen will be headlining Bellator 180 and he will be taking on longtime rival Wanderlei Silva.

Sonnen says that the rivalry with Silva began as he was preparing for a second fight with then UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Wanderlei had brought a camera crew with him during a trip with Sonnen in Brazil, and the fighter did some trash talking, which was all caught on video.

“He was doing this whole thing (with a video crew) and I was like, ‘Wanderlei, this is really weird,’” Sonnen said on The MMA Hour. “‘Because first of all, you’re telling me off, which is a little bit — that’s rude. Second, we’ve spent the whole day together. We’re in a van, man. Are you trying to start a fight with me in a van?’ … And third, you brought the camera man.”

The two fighters were set to collide in the UFC, but both had their issues with drug tests and were subsequently released by the promotion.

When the fight finally happens at Bellator 180, the American fighter knows just who will be jeered by the fans.

“The script is written,” Sonnen said. “I’m the bad guy. You be the the white knight. You come save your country and we’ll go fight this out on pay per view. This is really obvious. But if you bully me while I’m alone, it’s gonna have the reverse effect.”

Bellator 180 takes place on Saturday, June 24 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.

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