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UFC doesn’t respect fighters’ legacies, claims all-time great Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva expresses disappointment in how the UFC managed his career.

Anderson Silva after his loss to Uriah Hall at the UFC APEX in 2020.
Anderson Silva after his loss to Uriah Hall at the UFC APEX in 2020.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC legend Anderson Silva finished up his Octagon career in 2020. After fighting out his contract with the promotion ‘The Spider’ has been pursuing boxing opportunities, including a recent victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

He spent fourteen years in the UFC and, during the Spike TV era, was an unstoppable looking middleweight champion who drew countless fans to the sport. Silva’s reign as champion was ended in 2013. Later that year he also suffered a catastrophic leg injury.

Silva fought seven times in the UFC in the seven years since that injury. He had just one win over that time. He ended his UFC career after three back-to-back losses.

Since leaving the UFC, Silva has been outspoken about the company and its treatment of fighters. In a recent interview with Sportsnaut Silva accused the UFC of not respecting fighters’ legacies.

“When I was done in UFC, everybody — especially Dana White — said, ‘Oh, Anderson can’t fight anymore. Nobody in the same age [group] with Anderson can fight, it’s terrible,’ and blah, blah, blah,” said Silva. “And talking a lot of shit about me. And I feel disrespected because it doesn’t matter what happened — fight is fight. You can win, you can lose.

“When you make a success of [MMA], the one thing you need to do for your fighters is [give] respect. In that, I feel no respect. But I don’t care because when I stop fighting, I’m gonna stop fighting because I say I’m gonna stop it. Nobody can say for me I [should] stop. No one can say for [anybody] you need to stop now. Nobody. I’ll stop when I say I’m done.”

“That’s the problem for the people in this sport, especially UFC because UFC doesn’t respect the legacy that fighters have,” continued Silva. “They try to use you and kick you out. And when you’re out, they try to destroy your career [so] you don’t fight anywhere. This happened [to] a lot of fighters. People don’t think about that. I had a good time in UFC, and bad times too. The bad time for me is the experience I have behind the scenes. But inside the cage, inside the fight, I do my best. It’s the only time I have control. Outside I don’t have control.”

Silva also said that he made more money in his most recent boxing match (against Tito Ortiz) than he did in his final three UFC fights. He also took exception to the idea that his recent comments about the UFC are driven by bitterness.

“I don’t like to talk about the bad, and people say, ‘Oh now you’re out of UFC and you talk bad shit about [them]. It was good for me sometimes and it was good for UFC too. It’s done it’s over. But it’s important I say that, everything I say about the situation because this is what happened to me.”