Apart from the sporting aspect, mixed martial arts also values the entertainment aspect of fights. But for former long-time middleweight world champion Anderson Silva, the UFC seems to be putting more weight on the latter.
Speaking to Brazilian TV show Combate, “The Spider” says the reason why fellow Brazilian fighter Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has not yet been given a title shot is because of what he feels is the lack of profitability out of it.
"It’s a company that is worried about entertainment,” Silva said (via MMA Fighting). “It’s not a company with a history in martial arts, the philosophy of the fight. That’s one of the reasons why ‘Jacare' is not fighting for the title because, for them, it’s not something profitable, that will bring the entertainment they need.”
"This is what they did their entire lives, work with entertainment,” he continued. “We have to understand that. It’s hard because we think about the martial arts, what is correct. For the show, some fights make sense and others don’t. They end up losing some fans but gain some.”
"I think they are trying to make it more entertainment and and less martial arts. MMA doesn’t have the martial art philosophy, but it's becoming less sport and turning into entertainment.”
The UFC was purchased by WME-IMG from Zuffa LLC and the Fertitta brothers for $4 billion last July. With the owners now at the helm, Silva feels uneasy with the changes coming their way.
"I think they just took a big risk because the face of the UFC was always Dana (White) and Lorenzo. When you don’t have Dana and Lorenzo, the good cop and the bad cop, it’s kind of up in the air. But let’s be positive. I believe everything will be alright."
With four losses and one no contest on his recent streak, Silva aims to get back to his winning ways against Derek Brunson at UFC 208 on February 11th in Brooklyn.