“I Feel Disrespected” | MMA Legend Anderson Silva Adds His Two Cents To The UFC’s Athlete Troubles

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 31: Anderson Silva of Brazil reacts after his loss to Uriah Hall in a middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 31, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The list of elite fighters revealing the dirty dealings with the UFC is expanding, and now Anderson “The Spider” Silva is adding to the narrative.

The former UFC middleweight champion, who still holds the record for the longest title reign in UFC history, let it be known that he believes both the UFC and its president, Dana White, did him dirty before he exited the organization.

Exposing The Nonbelievers

“When I was done in UFC, everybody, especially Dana White, said, ‘Oh, Anderson can’t fight anymore,” Silva said to Sportsnaut. “Nobody in the same age with Anderson can fight, it’s terrible and talking a lot of sh*t 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 in my sport, the one thing you need to do for your fighter is 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,” he continued. “Nobody can say for me I stop. No one can say for (anyone) you need to stop now. Nobody. I’ll stop when I say I’m done.”

Win Some. Lose Some.

After 16 straight wins over six years, Silva was finally dethroned in 2013 by a second-round TKO from Chris Weidman. In their rematch during the same year, Silva suffered a horrific leg injury.

Since losing the UFC middleweight championship, Silva has only won one fight against Derek Brunson while dropping seven and delivering a no-contest against Nick Diaz in his last nine UFC fights.

During that time, Dana White lost faith in the 47-year-old star, telling the media he believed Silva was done as an athlete in the fight business.

The White Out

“I made a big mistake,” White said of Silva at the post-fight press conference after he was knocked out in the fourth round of his 2020 “retirement” bout against Uriah Hall.

“I shouldn’t have let him fight this fight tonight, but out of respect to him, he’s a legend of this sport and a legend of this company, I did something that I disagreed with. I knew I was right and tonight proved I was right. Anderson Silva should never fight again.”

Although Silva never officially announced his retirement from MMA, however, in November 2020, the UFC announced they had released the legend from his contract. Since then, Silva has become a boxer and is now 3-1 with wins over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in Mexico, and former UFC light heavyweight champion-turned-boxer Tito Ortiz.

Still The Spider

His next boxing bout is scheduled for May 14 against fellow Brazilian MMA veteran Bruno Machado in Dubai; it is his third boxing match since his UFC departure, defying Father Time and apparently the low expectations espoused by White.

“That’s the problem for the people in this sport, especially UFC, because UFC doesn’t respect the legacy that fighters have,” Silva continued. “They try to use you and kick you out, and when you’re out, they try to destroy your career; 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 about 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.”

Where’s The Cash At?

Silva also gave a peek behind the financial veil, echoing a sentiment that other fighters and insiders have said about the UFC pay scale.

“In my fight in Mexico [against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.], I made more money than my last three fights in MMA,” Silva continued. “I don’t like to talk about the bad, and people say, ‘Oh now you’re out of UFC and you talk bad sh*t about …'”

“It was good for me sometimes, and it was good for UFC too. It’s done. iI’s over. But it’s important I say that — everything I say about the situation, because this is what happened to me.”

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.