Throughout the history of The Ultimate Fighter, there have been some pretty epic grudges between the coaches who were participating on the show. Michael Bisping and Jason “Mayhem” Miller had so much venom between them that the tension while they were filming was almost palpable. And who could forget the near fight that almost broke out during season three of the show as UFC Hall of Famers Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock came close to trading blows during a shouting match in the TUF gym?
Yet for the first time ever on this week's episode of The Ultimate Fighter, two coaches let the situation get the best of them and actually throw down well ahead of their scheduled fight. UFC President Dana White first talked about the incident between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva back in January a few days after the fight actually happened.
"They literally fought," White said when speaking to the media at the time.
Well, the whole thing will finally unfold on the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, going down tonight exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Without spoiling any of the action, the best way to describe the breakdown of how it gets to the point where Silva and Sonnen are literally punching each other in the Ultimate Fighter gym is bizarre. Sonnen certainly did his part to rile up Silva over the years by constantly dogging the former PRIDE champion as one of the worst fighters in the sport while calling him out at every turn whenever there was a microphone in front of his face. Of course, Sonnen also had more than a few choice words for Brazil and the Brazilian people over the years, so Silva could easily take offense to that as well.
At the same time, Sonnen is well-known for his ability to sell a fight and get under an opponent's skin, but has shown during his experience as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter season 17 that he's more than capable of being professional when it comes down to the competitors he's coaching. Prior to joining UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones on the show, Sonnen had a multitude of strong words for his next opponent, but once they arrived on set, he was nothing but respectful and put the athletes' needs ahead of his own.
It appears to be the case this year on The Ultimate Fighter as well, with Sonnen doing his best to get his team on track while also dealing with a very agitated Silva at every turn. Following a late start to the fight selection this week, Sonnen is already at his wit's end, but Silva's anger and vitriol reaches a new level when he finally comes face to face with the Oregon native ahead of the fight weigh-ins.
Let's just say no one will be disappointed with Dana White's tease about the melee that breaks out between Sonnen and Silva because it's very real and it gets nasty in a hurry. Imagine a bench-clearing fight in baseball with a few sucker punches being thrown, clothes being ripped off and one coach left bleeding when the situation finally cools down.
In addition to Sonnen and Silva's brawl - and make no mistake, it's a brawl - things also start to break down a bit on the Brazilian's team when two of his fighters come to odds this episode. There's always a certain amount of tension created whenever a group of 16 fighters who don't really know each other are locked in a house for six weeks with no contact with the outside world, but it's even worse when the two people going at each other are friends away from the show and on the same team.
Things take an even bigger turn for the worse when an accident in training possibly threatens one of the fighter's chances of continuing in the competition. Between this, the uprising in the house, and the fight with Sonnen, it's not a good week for Team Wanderlei.
The one area where Silva has been very successful thus far is in the actual competition between the fighters on the show. Silva's team is currently undefeated in the competition, and as the old saying goes, 'the best revenge is living well,' and right now the Brazilian is doing just that against Sonnen.
With the heavyweights ready to get back in action, Silva selects his fighter Richardson 'Monstro' Moreira to take on Team Sonnen's Job Kleber this week. If memory escapes you, Kleber is the one that started the season during the first elimination fight when he punted his opponent with a kick that knocked him out cold and left him laying face down on the mat. Can the big man do it again or can the smaller Moreira find a way to avoid Kleber's power?
One area where Moreira excels is in his jiu-jitsu game, and considering he's got a list of leg lock submissions to his credit, Kleber may want to avoid the ground altogether in this matchup. Kleber's height is nullified on the ground and those long legs are always going to be inviting for a submission fighter like Moreira, who can grab an ankle lock, heel hook or knee bar at any time and finish the bout in just seconds.
It's going to be an interesting battle, especially to see if Kleber can help his team pick up their first win, while Silva tries to put his hands back around the team and the season after losing control and going after Sonnen, making it appear he's more worried about his own fight than the future of the guys he's currently coaching.
TUF Brazil 3 - Episode 6 Preview
The Ultimate Fighter Brazil's third season, featuring coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, continues, only on UFC Fight Pass...