View Full Version : Despite Death Threats Against Him, Chael Sonnen Admires Brazilian Fans

09-06-2011, 09:28 PM
Despite Death Threats Against Him, Chael Sonnen Admires Brazilian Fans

Appearing on Tuesday's edition of The MMA Hour, Sonnen said he wanted to attend the UFC's landmark return to Brazil, but as angry voices sounded off on the possibility and tensions grew, he quickly came to realize he would be a distraction to Okami. It also became obvious to everyone else, until an Okami sponsor requested that Sonnen stay home.

"It got a little bit out of hand," Sonnen said. "The level of death threats got a little bit high. I reached 10 death threats, and I think No. 7 was actually serious. By the looks of his eyes, it looked like he'd stabbed somebody before."

Sonnen said that he was a little bit surprised at all the reaction he was receiving since he was not even on the card. He claimed that one of Brazil's national newspapers featured him on its front page. In some ways, he became a de facto public enemy No. 1, and worries began to grow that their could be a real incident if he attended the event.

Knowing it was Okami's night, Sonnen chose to stay home and watch the fight from his home in Oregon.

"It wasn't my show, I wasn't part of it," he said. "It wasn't my night. I didn't want to take attention off Yushin. I truly believed he would win the championship and the last thing I wanted to do was take away from that."

Despite the hostile crowd reaction to him, Sonnen said he admired the intensity and passion of the Brazilian fans, and event went so far as to suggest that American fans can learn from them.

"I like it," he said. "I think Brazil does it right. They support their fellow countrymen. In North American, we don't support our countrymen. I have people that are American that want to see me lose to Anderson [Silva], and that's OK, but it's a little bit odd. In no other country would you turn on your own countryman.

"I'll give you a good example," Sonnen continued. "Matt Hughes fought Royce Gracie. That fight took place in Los Angeles and they booed Matt Hughes so loud, and they cheered Royce with all of their might. In no other country would you cheer against your fellow man except North America. I love the American crowd, but it does confuse me. And so I really admire the Brazilians for backing their own."

Despite Death Threats Against Him, Chael Sonnen Admires Brazilian Fans (http://www.mmafighting.com/2011/09/06/despite-death-threats-against-him-chael-sonnen-admires-brazilia/)