Anderson Silva vows to break Sonnen

Updated: June 26, 2012, 4:02 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

Anderson Silva on Monday responded unlike ever before to rival middleweight Chael Sonnen, when he promised to "break his face and break every one of his teeth" in their upcoming rematch at UFC 148 on July 7.

The comments were made through a translator during a media conference call.

"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."

Silva (31-4) is widely considered the top mixed martial artist in the world. He has successfully defended the 185-pound title a UFC-record nine times since 2006, including a fifth-round submission win over Sonnen when the two met in August 2010.

Silva 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.

-- Anderson Silva
Prior to and after that bout, Sonnen (27-11) launched a verbal attack on the Brazilian champion, heavily targeting his native country in the process.

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. He's also commented on Silva's wife and training partners, among other things.

Silva has more or less declined comment up to this point and even admitted in the past he thought Sonnen's charade was "funny." His animated response Monday came as a surprise to many.

"I've promoted every Anderson Silva fight since he's been in the UFC and I've never heard him talk even remotely close to this," UFC president Dana White said.

Sonnen, who was also on the call, mostly shrugged off his opponent's comments but he did speak on the magnitude of the fight.

"There is no fight in combat history that's got as much weight and as much emotion, not just from the fans and media but from the athletes participating, as this one," Sonnen said. "So, the stakes are completely different."

The rematch was originally planned to take place at a soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro, but was moved to Las Vegas when the UFC had trouble booking a venue. According to White, the promotion anticipates UFC 148 to produce more than 1 million pay-per-view buys.