Ex-UFC stars Silva and Sonnen to box next month

One of the greatest rivalries in mixed martial arts history will recommence next month.

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will face Chael Sonnen in a boxing match on June 15 in Brazil, Spaten Fight Night promotion announced on Sunday. Silva, 49, had been teasing his career finale earlier this week, claiming his final fight would take place next month in his birthplace of Sao Paulo.

Sonnen, 47, confirmed his participation via social media.

“Oh Anderson, yoohoo,” Sonnen said. “It’s me again. See you June 15.”

Silva (34-11) and Sonnen (30-17-1) produced one of the most memorable two-fight rivalries in UFC history. Silva was in the midst of a UFC-record 16 consecutive wins, when he ran into Sonnen in 2010. The outspoken title challenger from West Linn, Oregon was a massive underdog going into their first meeting at UFC 117.

Sonnen shocked the world for 23 minutes of that fight, dominating Silva with takedowns and ground and pound before Silva secured a late triangle choke off his back. The UFC is set to induct that fight into its Hall of Fame in late June.

They met again two years later at UFC 148 in a blockbuster rematch in Las Vegas. Silva knocked out Sonnen with a knee to the chest after Sonnen lost balance throwing a spinning backfist.

Silva retired from the UFC in 2020, but has since boxed professionally four times. He is 2-1-1 in the ring, with the only loss coming to Jake Paul via decision in 2022. Sonnen retired from MMA in 2019 after five appearances in Bellator MMA. The former collegiate wrestler has never boxed professionally.

Silva was widely considered the greatest fighter of all time by 2010, but Sonnen’s ability to promote their rivalry with his trash talk of the Brazilian legend helped propel him to stardom.

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