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Fans, threats don't phase Sonnen

by: Jaime Valdez, GETTING READY — Chael Sonnen trains at the Team Quest facility in Tualatin on Monday as he prepares for his his UFC world title bout on July 7.

TUALATIN - Looking at Internet message boards and online comments, there seems to be some big-time varying opinions on the desired outcome of the July 7 UFC middleweight world title match between Chael Sonnen and champion Anderson 'The Spider' Silva.

Sonnen looks to have his group of supporters who want to see him win his first world championship.

And, there are others who, frankly, want to see Silva wipe the mat with the Tualatin native. But that's all OK with Sonnen.

'We're fans and we can cheer for whoever we want to cheer for. You want to back your guy,' Sonnen said following a training session Friday at the Team Quest facility in Tualatin. 'North American crowds can be the most unloyal crowds there are, but I don't beg for crowd approval.'

It doesn't seem to matter to Sonnen who the crowd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas cheers for on the UFC 148 card on July 7. It also doesn't matter to him who writes what on an Internet message board.

In fact, Sonnen was all set to face Silva anywhere - including hostile territory.

The Sonnen-Silva championship match was originally scheduled to be part of the UFC 147 card that will be held June 23 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Sonnen said he was more than willing to face Silva in his home country, despite receiving death threats.

'I was told I'd be killed in Brazil, or thrown in jail,' Sonnen said. 'But I signed for that match without a bit of hesitation. I'm willing to go through anything to win it.'

He'll get his chance to do just that on July 7 in front of a sellout crowd and pay-per-view audience.