(Wanderlei after hearing Chael Sonnen dismiss churrascarias as “jungle bar-b-que”)
Few fighters embody the philosophy of “don’t talk about it, be about it,” more than former Pride middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva. “The Axe Murderer” has always preferred action over rhetoric and so trash talk from him has been rare over the years.
That’s what makes it so fun when he actually does talk smack. About a month ago I interviewed Wanderlei for the UFC and Yahoo! Sports about his upcoming UFC 147 main event, which takes place tonight. At the time he was scheduled to rematch his nemesis Vitor Belfort, but now he’s fighting Rich Franklin. The animosity Wanderlei has for Vitor is such that he had no problem talking trash about him. Unfortunately, when the opponents changed, those quotes were lost to the world…until now.
Below is not a traditional interview, but rather Wanderlei Silva trash talk highlights from that conversation in May. When prompted, Wanderlei had a lot to say about Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort both, ranging from topics of respect, to cowardice to the difference between “big balls,” and non-functioning testicles.
I enjoyed hearing it all from the man himself so much that I had to share it with you, taters. Bon appetite.
Wanderlei Silva on…
Apropos of nothing, really, I asked Wanderlei to talk about the now infamous and celebrated video footage of him giving Chael Sonnen a tongue lashing when they traveled together for official UFC promotional business back in 2010, shortly after Chael’s first fight against Anderson Silva and right before their originally scheduled rematch which Chael ducked by getting suspended for failing a drug test and getting convicted of a felony. If you will remember, nation, Chael was fond of insulting the nation of Brazil, the Nogueira brothers, Anderson Silva and Wanderlei himself, in interviews, on twitter and at fan Q&A’s.
Wanderlei reflecting on that interaction:
“If you say some bullshit about somebody, one day you’re gonna be face to face with the guy. Man, if somebody talks some shit about you and you are face to face with him and you don’t have the balls to say, ‘man, why did you say that about me?’…You’re supposed to be a man and here this one guy won’t even shake the other’s hand and say, ‘hello, how are you?’ What kind of man is that?
“I’m old school, man. A guy is talking about me on the internet, in interviews, well now we are face to face. Hello. Come and talk to me, tell me why you said that. Everybody, for all these guys talking about me, one day you are going to be face to face with me. So when that happens, say it to my face. Don’t say it in just in an interview with a reporter, say it face to face.
“I opened the cage for [Chael] and he didn’t say anything. What kind of man is that? I know, actually, because he don’t have balls. He uses testosterone because he don’t have balls. This is his problem.
“He don’t have balls, no? His balls don’t work (laughs). I have two big balls over here, you know? And I say for him and I say for everybody, no matter, I am a man. This is a lesson I took from my dad. A man can’t talk about another man because one day we are going to be face to face. In that day, you never know.”
Wanderlei Silva on…
On the difference between he and Belfort:
“The age, you know? (laughs). We are totally different people. He has his own thoughts, I have my own thoughts. For him, its his life but I don’t like some things about him. I don’t agree with some things he’s doing. I don’t change who I am for nothing, you know? I can’t say the same thing about him.
On if he sees Belfort as a talented kid, but himself as the harder worker of the two
“Yeah, man (chuckles). Definitely, because my way was not too easy. You look at my opponents and his opponents, man, I made my career on a rock because it was not too easy. I worked a lot and I’m not afraid of nobody. I fight the same with everybody.”
On his friend Anderson Silva calling Vitor a coward during taping of an episode of TUF Brazil, when he didn’t realize that his mic was still on
“Man, everybody knows [that Belfort is a coward], not just me. Everyone knows that when the fight is going good for him, he’s a lion. But when the fight starts to go bad for him, he’s a lamb. We know that.
“He’s a really, really good athlete. But everyone knows that his problem is in his head, not his body.”