• UFC 148

UFC arranged epic security operation for Sonnen

ESPN staff
April 27, 2012
Chael Sonnen continued to taunt Anderson Silva © Getty Images

Chael Sonnen may be feeling extremely fortunate that his middleweight title fight against Anderson Silva has been moved out of Brazil, after UFC president Dana White detailed the dangers he went through just to attend a press conference.

Sonnen has been highly disrespectful of Brazil as a nation, while his constant taunting of champion Silva has made him public enemy No. 1. However, their scheduled fight in Rio will now take place in Las Vegas, due to logistical reasons.

Sonnen went to Brazil to help the UFC announce the change of plan, during which he continued to mock Silva by pretending to fall asleep while the champion was talking. But White revealed it was far from a snooze for the American when he tried to get past the press.

"We had proper security with us. We had like seven guys with us," White said to Orange County Register. "These are guys that mapped out the whole route.

"We literally landed at the airport in Rio, a shuttle took us through customs, jumped on helicopters and the helicopters took us right to the hotel. I came through the front door. We put him (Sonnen) through a side door.

"We had him in a holding room. We went down to the press conference and he had a scrum. The reporters were getting really aggressive with him at the scrum. Somebody got him with a shock pen and all kinds of stuff like that.

"He went out the side door. I went out the front door. Helicopters took us back. We got on a plane and got him out of there. I wanted to make sure we got in and out and got him safe.

"I'm still getting texts, 'Did you and Sonnen get out of Brazil alive last night? I haven't heard from you. Give me an update.' I made him ride in a different car than me!"

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