(Well, I found this on the Internet so it has to be true. Props: @sonnench)
With all the crap they’ve hurled at each other lately, it’s no surprise that Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva would eventually have to get into the Octagon and back up their slam poetry. But we definitely didn’t see this coming: As confirmed by UFC president Dana White on yesterday’s edition of FOX Sports Live, Sonnen and Silva will appear as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3, which begins filming early next year. The American Gangster and the Axe Murderer will then face off at a 2014 event to be named later.
The reality-show booking is so unexpected because White previously said it wouldn’t happen — for Chael’s own safety. As White explained during a press-conference in Brazil last month:
“People keep asking me if they’re going to be the coaches (for TUF Brazil 3). I can’t have a Brazilian within 10 feet of Chael Sonnen in America. Imagine bringing Chael Sonnen here for six weeks. I don’t think he’d make it…I mean there’s situations in the United States where we had an event where a Brazilian fan started swinging at Chael Sonnen trying to hit him…Brazilians do not like Chael Sonnen.”
So, was White fooling us on purpose? Or did he have a change of heart and realize that, hey, Sonnen’s life isn’t that important anyway. And would any of the show’s Brazilian prospects want to be on Chael’s team? This has the potential to be all kinds of uncomfortable. For the first time in TUF history, a coach may be savagely soap-whipped by his own team. I’m telling you, these Brazilians do not respond well to motivational speaking.
Tryouts for TB3 will be held on Nov. 11 in Rio de Janeiro, and will be open to middleweights, light heavyweights, and heavyweights. This will be the second Ultimate Fighter coaching stint for both men; Sonnen previously appeared opposite Jon Jones on TUF 17, which aired in the beginning of this year, while Silva coached on the first installment of TUF Brazil alongside Vitor Belfort in 2012. And in case you forgot, Sonnen already has a fight against Rashad Evans scheduled for next month at UFC 167. Must be nice to have job security.
Update: There are reports indicating that TUF Brazil 3 will feature a Brazil vs. U.S.A. theme, which makes a lot more sense. We’ll let you know when the UFC officially confirms this.