Wanderlei Silva didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian Cristiane Justino.
According to “The Axe Murderer,” that’s why he backed out of a promotional press conference with rival Chael Sonnen scheduled for Los Angeles last week. At the time, a Bellator MMA press release announced that Silva was “under the weather” and couldn’t attend. As it turns out, that wasn’t exactly true.
“The truth I didn’t go to the press conference I didn’t want to do what Cyborg did when that girl talked s—t about her,” Silva said during a conference call on Tuesday. “If I saw Chael, I don’t know what is going to happen. I’m professional, but this guy has crossed the line with me and is playing with the wrong guy.”
Silva is referring to the altercation between Justino and Angela Magana at the UFC Fighter’s Retreat in May. Justino confronted Magana regarding a social media feud between the two fighters and was caught hitting her antagonist on video. “Cyborg” was cited for misdemeanor battery by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and could be facing six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if the district attorney pursues the charges against her.
Silva and Sonnen, meanwhile, famously brawled on set of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3,” a scrap which led to the Brazilian injuring his wrist. He later claimed to have fled a drug test before a proposed bout with Sonnen at UFC 175 because he had taken a diuretic to treat the injury. Sonnen, of course, also failed a drug test and the matchup with Silva never came to fruition.
Now, as they prepare to finally meet at Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden on June 24, there is no love lost between the two rivals.
“He can be right and I can be wrong. He wants to make a case about it, he can have it; I don’t give a damn,” Sonnen said. “I don’t like Wanderlei Silva.”
Added Silva, “When I see Chael in the same room, you better have security because something is going to happen.”
Silva and Sonnen will likely have to occupy the same space at some point during fight week for Bellator’s second-ever pay-per-view offering. However, in an ideal world, “The Axe Murderer” would prefer to limit his interactions with the West Linn, Ore., native.
“I’m professional,” Silva said. “I hope I see him just inside the cage.”