04-26-2012, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
| | Dana White On Getting Sonnen To Brazil
UFC Notebook: Dana White Thinks Rampage 'Could Have Been So Much Better' - MMA Fighting
If you thought concerns for Chael Sonnen’s safety getting in and out of Brazil were overblown, think again. |
Sonnen and White were in Rio de Janeiro for Tuesday’s announcement that Sonnen’s rematch with Anderson Silva was being moved from the champion’s home country to the loaded UFC 148 card in Las Vegas on July 7. White detailed the level of security that was needed to get the controversial challenger out in one piece.
"With the stuff he said and everything else, we made sure we had proper security," White said. "We had seven guys with us who do this for a living. We mapped out the whole route. We literally landed at the airport in Rio, went through customers, then jumped on helicopters that took us right through to the hotel. I came in the front door and we put him through the side door, had him in a holding room."
Sonnen, of course, has a history of making outrageous comments about Brazil in general and Brazilian fighters in specific. Even though he was in hostile territory, Sonnen didn’t do much to defuse the situation.
"You know those disguises with the mustaches and the glasses you get at a joke shop?" White asked. "He had one of those on and he said ‘you wonder how I got into this country, this was my disguise.’ He says, ‘everyone was asking me if I was one of the Nogueira brothers, and the people were asking, which Nogueira brother was I, the fat one or the bald one? The one that was good or the one that was never good?’"
When a post-press conference media scrum with Sonnen starting going south, said White, they knew it was time to get the mouthy middleweight from Oregon out the door.
"We did a scrum with him, the reporters were getting really aggressive. Someone got him with a shock pen, all kinds of stuff like that. He went out the side door, I went out the front door, we got back in the helicopters, got him back through customs, got him on a plane, and got him out of there."