(Video courtesy YouTube/WandFightTeam)
*Editor’s note: Turn down your volume before pressing play or Burt Watson will scare the shit out of you.
If you’ve never watched any of the episodes from Wanderlei Silva‘s video blog series, you’re missing out. It gives a rare and uncut glimpse into Wand’s life and his thoughts on the sport and his career.
The latest one takes place during the pre-fight media blitz ahead of Ultimate Fight Night 22 in Texas last week, but the best part is something that happened behind the scenes during a limo ride from one event to another. At around the 3:53 mark the usually quiet and cordial in person "The Axe Murderer" confronts Chael Sonnen about his recent bashing of Brazilian MMA luminaries Antonio Rogerio and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira when he said that earning a black belt from the two is like getting a Happy Meal toy from MacDonald’s.
"I’m thinking. You sell the fight, you make a promotion, it’s good, but you need to be careful talking about some things, like Brazil. You’re talking bad things about Brazil," Silva said, seeming to channel Don Corleone. "You don’t know Brazil. When You’re something you don’t know, you need to respect that thing."
"Sure. That’s not totally true," Sonnen replied with a smirk. "I’ve been to Brazil, actually."
That’s like me saying I know about construction because I’ve been to Home Depot.
Silva sees it the same way.
"No, no, you’ve been to Brazil, but I am Brazilian. Like you’ve been talking about the Nogueira brothers. These guys are the history of the sport; we need to respect these guys. You challenging him is okay. You know. One to one, you know? The promotion is good, but you need to respect some things," Silva asserted, obviously a bit more irritated with Sonnen’s smugness. "These guys need respect; and the country, you know? We need to have a good conduct about that. Okay? Don’t do that anymore, because that’s danger, no?"
"Sure, " Sonnen replied half-heartedly."
"In Brazil we have a saying: ‘You have respect, you don’t lose your teeth.’ In Brazil we say that," Wand said matter-of-factly without breaking his gaze on Chael, who looks like he wants out of the car. "Give respect, because we don’t know about the future, no?"
"Sure. Thank-you," Chael replied before Jennifer Wenk, the UFC’s director of PR intervened and told them to get along.
Considering Chael’s answer when I asked him a few moths before his fight with Nate Marquardt if Team Quest got the respect it deserved, he likely had to bite his tongue to not tell Silva what he thought about the word "respect."
Here’s the classic Chael line from the interview I did for MMA Authority Magazine:
"I don’t even know what respect means. Some dirtbag came u with that word when I was in junior high – some high school dropout – and now we’ve got kids killing each other citing a lack of respect as a motive. I don’t care anything about respect, whether I get it or give it."
It doesn’t look like he took any of Wanderlei’s advice to heart since he gave this backstage interview after his UFN 22 UFC Fight Club Q&A and not only questioned the legitimacy of Big Nog’s injury that forced him out of the bout with Mir, but also took a shot at "The Axe Murderer’s" record when dissing Nogueira’s replacement, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic:
(Video courtesy YouTube/Fighters Only)
Here’s what he said about Wand, which is a far cry from his sedate, replies he gave him in the car in the video earlier.
"Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva are the only two guys to ever headline UFCs with the most atrocious records in the UFC. Cro Cop and Wanderlei are these anomalies. They sell out, they’ve got a ton of fans and their atrociously bad records. So, you got Frank Mir — multiple time world champion. What are you gonna put on Cro Cop’s side? He won some fights in Japan that nobody cared about in a company that went under."