UFC 148, to be headlined by the rematch of Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, was already hyped up to be one of the biggest events in the sport's history. Their first meeting was a wildly entertaining match that saw Sonnen (27-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC) beat on Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) mercilessly for over four rounds before it ended with a come-from-behind, fifth-round submission victory for Silva, the UFC Middleweight Champion.
Yes, people by the millions were already planning to fork over their money to see the pay-per-view rematch of this classic fight. Then came a media conference call for the event and now you can nearly bank on double that viewing now.
Silva, alternately polite, dismissive and non-communicative in past interviews, showed another side of himself during a media conference call Monday. He showed that he can hold a grudge and that Sodden has made him very, very angry.
"What I'm going to do inside the Octagon is something that's going to change the image of the sport," Silva said. "I'm going to make sure every one of his teeth are broken, his arms are broken, his legs are broken.
"He's not going to be able to walk out of the Octagon by himself. I can guarantee that."
Sonnen, who, unlike Silva, is a big talker, has made many disparaging remarks about Silva, his country, his wife, and trainers over the past two years. Following a win at UFC 136 over another opponent, Sonnen issued a pro-wrestling type challenge to Silva, vowing to retire from the UFC if he lost the rematch.
Silva, who has in the past just shrugged off Sonnen's antics, showed Monday that he has been nursing a huge grudge and that it's set to boil over when they meet next.
"First of all, Chael is a criminal," Silva said through translator and manager Ed Soares. "He's been convicted of crimes. He doesn't deserve to be inside the octagon. And when the time comes and the time is right, I'm going to break his face and break every one of his teeth in his mouth."
"People who live in the past, and things that are in the past, are in museums," Silva continued. "Right now, I'm focused on what's going to happen in the next few weeks, and right now, playtime is over.
"I'm going to beat Chael like he's never been beaten before. The joke is over. There's no more talking. I know he's on the line listening, and the game is over. I'm going to beat his ass out of the UFC. He's never going to want to fight again after I'm done with him."
This heated verbal outpouring from Silva came as a shock to all who has followed him. UFC President Dana White, who has to be giddy over the hype this will bring, was thoroughly shocked by the vehemence in the fighters voice.
"I've promoted every Anderson Silva fight since he's been in the UFC, and I've never heard him talk even remotely like this," White said. "He usually doesn't say anything negative (or) disrespectful. I've never heard Anderson Silva talk like this."
Sonnen, for his part, wasn't phased by Silva's words, or at least he didn't act it. He even managed one last verbal jab at his opponent before ending the media session just 30 minutes into it.
"Tell him I've got two words for him: Medium. Rare," Sonnen said, a quip referencing an interview in which he said he wanted Silva's wife to make him a steak.
This rematch, which is now heavily expected to be a bloodbath, will take place on July 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: AP