UFC 148 Pre-Fight Press Conference #1 Recap: Silva Gets Physical at the Staredown
The first of two installments, the pre-fight press conference for UFC 148 was held at Lagasse’s Stadium in Nevada where only three individuals were present. UFC President Dana White, being one of them, stood between the two combustible counterparts in UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva and the best trash-talker in the world, Chael Sonnen. Both fighters finally had the opportunity to “personally” exchange words in close proximity and all those pent up emotions came out in their rawest forms. Truly, this battle wasn’t just hype and had become synonymous with the campaign for the event, “very personal”.
Before the two knock each other out senseless in Saturday’s main event at the MGM Grand Arena, the media and some fans had the chance to dig in further with their dying questions for the two.
Once the meeting began, Silva was asked why he initially turned down the rematch with Sonnen. That was followed by another query if it was possibly due to the fact that Silva had a hard time the first time and felt that his opponent had the proper tools in dethroning his untarnished championship reign. Silva responded by indirectly answering the question and claimed he just fought whoever the company placed before him.
Later on, the focus went to Sonnen who was questioned about his methods in promoting the fight and that if they were worth it having toyed with people’s personal feelings at the expense of entertainment. More so, that his continuous lambasting were probably bordering below the belt and surreal in a way. He confidently exclaimed that he never regretted any derogatory remark he fired towards his opponent’s life, country, and everything else that mattered since he was asking his counterpart to give him a fight. He slammed his firm belief in what he’s been doing by saying:
Listen guys, if you are not willing to go too far, you will never go far enough in life. I don’t care. I don’t promote fights. I pick fights.
In reference to the recent media call where Silva finally retaliated and went all out on Sonnen, “The Spider” was questioned for the sudden change in his apathetic treatment to his enemy’s verbal attacks. Silva placed his cards down and described that he was done hiding in the dark as his bully frequently demolished and mud-slinged everything he respected. He continued by adding an image that come fight day, his opponent’s days were numbered and that he would eat every single dirty word he ever said.
It was also cleared today that Sonnen’s initial “stakes” for this fight as to “winner takes all and loser leaves (the division or the UFC altogether)” were retracted and “re-sended” since Silva never accepted any of those terms which led to Sonnen facing Munoz (who was then replaced by Michael Bisping because of an elbow injury).
At one point in the conference where most of the questions were being directed towards the champion as to what he would do differently this time around, Sonnen negated from entertaining the questions and broke the monotony by asking the audience,
Anderson sits here like he doesn’t understand you; Ed Soares interprets, and we gotta here it a second time. First off, he (Silva) speaks English. Second, we can replace Ed Soares with an app I could download for $9.99. What kind of bizarr-o world are we in here? This’s the strangest thing I’ve been a part of!
In all seriousness though, Sonnen reviewed his journey back to this second window of opportunity for championship gold. His narrated that his presence here was a rite that he believed he had earned because of all the sacrifices and legwork he had put in to get here. He went on that ultimately and once the dust settles, he foresees his hand raised as the new king of the mountain.
After a couple more questions (which we have already heard over and over again), someone finally had the guts to ask the champion about thoughts of retiring from the sport to which the undefeated fighter boldly responded with one word with a smile: “Nope.”
Another icebreaker moment took place when a representative from the media reminded Sonnen about his submission to Silva’s triangle choke late in the fifth round. Sonnen replied:
Well, I gotta plead ignorance on that first fight. I thought that if you tapped, it ended THE ROUND. I did not know that the contest AS A WHOLE would come to a conclusion. I do now know, so that is cleared up.
These were just some of the exchanges that happened during the press conference and I strongly recommend anyone and everyone to view this press conference in full (from start to finish) for you’ll die laughing as they went back and forth in rebutting each other’s statements. The conclusion; however, will leave you in that state of disbelief when the stage was cleared for photo shoot sessions with both posing for a staredown. The two met at the center, but Silva forcefully imposed his will as he pressed his body against Sonnen’s and literally pushed his way forward. White stepped in to break the physicality that ensued. Because of this, not that many shots were taken to help promote the fight further (good action and drama though).
As Sonnen kept his cool and walked away, an evidently enraged Silva seemed ready to go at it even before fight day came where the match-up for the ages takes place come Independence Weekend.
Check the video below for the intense staredown that almost went out of control as Anderson Silva pushed his body against Chael Sonnen during the photo ops after the press conference.
Below is the video that showed the highlights of the entire Pre-Fight Press Conference which took place at the Lagasse’s Stadium on July 3, 2012.
For the freshest and up-to-the-minute updates on UFC 148, do check Nerdles.com for “UFC 148: Silva Vs Sonnen 2″ as the actions happens at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 7, Saturday at 7PM/PT, 10PM/ET. Follow me on Twitter (@DJHeinie666) or wait for my play-by-play feature article to know latest.
Photo Courtesy of the UFC