If entertainment value reigns supreme regardless of what's done or said, Silva just served up a big dish of hype on a silver (or Silva?) platter.
Silva blasted Sonnen during a conference call Monday, guaranteeing that Sonnen won't be able to walk out of the octagon under his own power when the two fighters hook up in Las Vegas on July 7. The comments come on the heels of numerous verbal jabs from Sonnen, who targeted Silva's wife and training partners, among other topics.
"I'm going to make sure every one of [Sonnen's] teeth are broken, his arms are broken, his legs are broken," Silva said through a translator, representing a major change of pace from his typically calm demeanor.
Silva's unexpected outburst is not only shocking, but it's also kind of alarming and quite possibly grotesque for those still skeptical of the whole mixed martial arts thing. But when you take a step back, UFC president Dana White has to be licking his chops, because the ratings for next Saturday's bout probably just experienced a massive spike. No matter how ruthless Silva's promise is (or appears), admit it, you're more intrigued about the upcoming fight than you were before the drama kicked up another notch. If not, you're in the minority.
And for those concerned about what's actually going to happen in the octagon, let's just make it clear that Silva was going to put forth 100 percent effort in this match regardless of anything he said leading up to it. His comments could have been on either end of the spectrum, and it'd still be obvious that Silva is in it to win it.
Silva's actual comments are obviously more out of the WWE mold than anything, and it could even be by design. If not, it should be, because nothing adds to the intrigue of an upcoming match like the perception of pure hatred.
The thought of someone trying to break every bone in another human's body is something that's hard to fathom or comprehend, but the mathematical formula when it comes to MMA is simple: The more bad blood that exists — or at least appears to exist — between two fighters, the more interest there's inevitably going to be, especially amongst casual fans who don't appreciate the skill portion of MMA as much as the more passionate fans.
Does Silva really want to injure Sonnen that bad? Who knows? It doesn't matter. Instead, it's the perception that these two fighters hate each other that's enough to pique the interest of those who would otherwise turn a blind eye.
Negative. Disrespectful. Over the top. White used all of those to describe Silva's comments. But when the numbers are released, and UFC 148's ratings rival those of UFC 100 (as White suggests they will), a couple of thank you cards should be sent to Silva and Sonnen.
The fight might not be half as good as the buildup, but the potential is enough to get us fired up.
Photo via Facebook/Silva acaba com Sonnen