Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has been outspoken lately about his dissatisfaction regarding the tail-end of his tenure in the Octagon. The MMA legend recently said that the UFC does not respect fighters’ legacies and that Dana White slighted him on his way out the door, claiming Silva could no longer fight at a time when ‘The Spider’ was looking for new promoters to work with.
After this weekend’s UFC 274 White addressed some of Silva’s criticisms. At the post-fight press conference the UFC President was incredulous towards Silva’s claims and concerns.
“Anderson Silva, what the fuck is Anderson Silva talking about?” he said (ht MMA Fighting). “When have any of you ever heard me talk negative, except for the fight in Abu Dhabi, about Anderson Silva? Never.”
The fight in Abu Dhabi White is referring to happened in 2010 in the main event of UFC 112. At that event Silva successfully defended his title against Demian Maia. The fight was an odd one, with Silva taunting his opponent throughout and, at times, choosing to dance instead of engage Maia.
“I’ve never talked bad about Anderson Silva,” repeated White at his press-conference. “Not only that, we let the guy fight through his contract, he lost seven of his last eight, or eight of his last nine fight, and always treated him with — I don’t know where the hell this is coming from, from him that then I started trying to make is so he couldn’t make money after. I said, ‘Jake Paul is looking to fight somebody, fight Anderson Silva, that guy’s out there, he’s available, he’s 47 years old.’ It’s baffling to me.”
White taking pride in ‘letting’ Silva fight out his contract is notable since many fighters in the UFC retire while still under contract, thus preventing them from doing anything else in the combat sports realm without the UFC’s permission. That’s the reason Georges St-Pierre has been unable to try his hand at boxing despite being retired from MMA for three years.
White also added that he hasn’t spoken with Silva in a long time, but that he is in contact with his son.
“His son hits me up and wants to come to fights, absolutely. This is his house, if he ever wants — that came out of left field and makes absolutely no sense to me. Unless you guys have heard me say something that I don’t remember saying, the only time I ever said anything negative about Anderson Silva was in Abu Dhabi after that fight.”