Vinny Magalhaes: Thinks Chael Sonnen Can Beat Anderson Silva and Explains the M-1 Drama

Vinny Magalhaes (9-5, MMA), the reigning M-1 Global Light Heavyweight Champion and submission ace, is now a free-agent fighter and ready to move on to fight for a new promotion.

When his contract ended in January, he wanted to be released. Vinny explained there was a 60 day re-negotiation period and M-1 made an offer that was “ridiculous.” So now, he’s required to wait through a 120 day period where M-1 can match offers made by other promotions, before he can be released.

The drama started after one of the directors of the promotion was “openly rooting” for Magalhaes’ opponent during a fight. Though he didn’t give a name, he said, “It wasn’t just like someone who works for M-1, he was like pretty much the Dana White of M-1. You don’t see Dana White openly rooting for somebody during a fight.” According to Vinny, the director got upset and sent an e-mail to him that said, “Whatever offer Vinny gets, we’re gonna match it just to prove a point.”

His release could happen as early as 15 days if M-1 does not match or respond to the offers that Magalhaes submits.  The waiting period started in October of 2011 following his title defense victory over Mikhail Zayats.  Vinny hasn’t fought since and was only able to fight 4 of the 6 fights that were on his contract has been killing him.  “Why would I want to fight for those guys?  How can I even trust those guys?”

With his own career on hiatus, Magalhaes told MMA Fight Corner that he’s training Chael Sonnen for his rematch vs Anderson Silva in Brazil for UFC 147. Though the Brazilian native hung his head expecting the reaction he would get upon his announcement that he’s training the enemy, Magalhaes validated his decision to help Sonnen brush up on his ground game.

“He’s always been a nice guy to me. And you know, when he asked me if I want to go train with him I was like ‘Yes I would, but I know I’m gonna have problems.’ So we had to talk about not just going there as a favor, so I’m doing it, you know, as a job. He’s paying me, I’m going. I’ll be honest with you, I would have gone anyways. But the thing is, since he’s fighting in Brazil and he has all the hype, all the problems with the Brazilians, I have to get paid. I can’t just go there, and risk my life, and not get paid.”

Vinny said he doesn’t truly believe that his life, or Chael’s life, is in danger. “The same way that he says bad things about Brazilians as a joke, I think the Brazilians are just overreacting too. Once he gets there, after he wins, they’ll probably call him names,” he added.

Magalhares began his short-lived UFC career on The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 and lost to Ryan Bader in the season finale. He then lost his 2nd UFC fight vs Eliot Marshall and was cut from the UFC. Since then, Magalhaes has been on a tear in M-1 and has won his last five fights. What unfolds next for Magalhaes, whether it’s a fresh start with perhaps the UFC, or possibly heading to Brazil to corner Chael, should be a fun ride.

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