This week eight years ago Anderson Silva defeated Chael Sonnen to retain his UFC middleweight title in one of the most dramatic fights in recent memory.
After dominating throughout the fight the brash Sonnen fell to a late submission nearly four minutes into the fifth and final round as Silva survived to barely keep his title.
In the buildup to the bout which took place at UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland California, Sonnen talked a lot of trash and, on his ESPN podcast, Ariel and The Bad Guy, the 41-year-old explained that he really felt that he had gotten into the champions’ head.
Sonnen told the story of right before he was about to make the walk to the octagon, outlining that he got one final verbal jab in on Silva as he looked to throw him off his game.
“We’re in the back and I’m waiting over here and he’s on the other side, I’m walking out first, he’s second and I point to Ed Soares (Silva’s manager) and I said ‘this is your last chance, do not walk through this curtain tonight and if he does Ed, this is on you’ and I looked to Anderson Silva and he just looked straight down.
“I remember walking to the octagon then thinking ‘man I’ve really gotten to this guy'”
This is a great anecdote from Chael about moments before the first Silva fight at UFC 227. First time I heard this one. https://t.co/zW09GDp92P
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 9, 2018
Sonnen has never been one to mince his words, and this anecdote adds another wrinkle to a rivalry with Silva that will go down as one of the most entertaining in the sport’s history.