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08-24-2011, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
| | Sonnen: UFC 134 trip to support Okami canceled due to sponsor intervention, police th
Link to full article: Sonnen: UFC 134 trip to support Okami canceled due to sponsor intervention, police threat | MMAjunkie.com
TUALATIN, Ore. – Chael Sonnen wanted to be in Yushin Okami's corner for UFC 134, and he still has a plane ticket to Rio de Janeiro. |
It's Brazil that doesn't want him there.
Sonnen said a major sponsor of Okami's requested he not attend the pay-per-view event, which takes place Saturday at Rio's HSBC Arena.
A source with knowledge of the situation told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) that Praetorian, a Brazil-based MMA brand, threatened to pull the Japanese fighter's sponsorship if Sonnen attended.
"There's a line of people that want to kick his ass," the source said.
And that could be the least of problems for the expert trash-talker. Sonnen said friends in the country forwarded him a local-media report in which a police chief threatened to arrest him on sight if he showed. The official cited a law that makes disparaging the national identity a crime.
"You don't have freedom of speech in Brazil; put it like that," Sonnen told MMAjunkie.com after a workout at Team Quest Tualatin.
The source said Sonnen's claim is untrue. But the fighter's bombastic interviews have created quite a stir.
In several highly circulated clips and on Twitter, Sonnen has maligned the South American country and several of its most popular fighters. Former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida has been a favorite target, as have national icons and brothers Antonio Rodrigo and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Brazil-based MMA manager Alex Davis said Sonnen's words have united Brazil's MMA community.
"Brazilians don't get together on other things, but they've gotten together on this," he said. "Brazilian authorities would not arrest Sonnen for anything he said. They would defend him. But he is talking about people that a whole generation of fighters worship."
Okami, of course, is facing another object of worship, that of reigning middleweight champ Anderson Silva, in UFC 134's headliner. Silva has not been on Sonnen's Christmas card list for some time.
While the onetime middleweight contender expressed regret over not being able to help his teammate, Sonnen is there to do what's best for his frequent training partner, which, in this case, is to stay away.
"I only want to be there to help him," Sonnen said. "I don't need to see the show. I can watch the show on TV. I was going exclusively in support of Yushin, and frankly, it's been headed this way for a long time. It's been headed the direction of, 'Hey, this is becoming a distraction.'
"This fight isn't about me. I'm not involved. I'm here to lend you support. But I don't want things thrown at what will unintentionally be him while he's in the ring or we're going to the ring.
"This is serious business. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it's not my place to disturb it or shift any type of attention to me. This is his moment, his night, his time to be the world champ."
08-24-2011, 12:50 PM
Status: and im a baaad man...
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Edmonton AB
I think there is some truth to what he is saying for sure, because he would be a big distraction, but at the same time i think he is a bit reluctant to be ringside surrounded by thousands of angry drunk brazilians lol. honestly i dont blame him =)
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08-24-2011, 08:05 PM
Status: Pasha Cigano
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Very far
Originally Posted by Firemass
Decent thing to do by Sonnen, all the added drama would do Okami no favours. But come on! Sonnen is hyping a fued with Silva, I think people are overreacting. It's a sport but to a degree all sport is entertainment right?
To talk shit about a whole country is not a proper way to hype a fight.
Brazil, as any other country in the world has good things and bad things and no one has the right to talk shit about a country.
To all of you that support him, would you support him if he talked shit about your country?
And BTW whith his comments he is not embarrasing Brazil, he is embarrasing USA because of people like him many people have a very negative opinion about Americans.
It is good that he will not be in Brazil, first of all because he is not worthy of being there again, and secondly because something could happen and it would damage a lot the image of MMA. And no one wants our favorite sport to have troubles because of some idiot on roids with tiny balls.
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