Anderson Silva will always be known as one of the most dominant champions in mixed martial arts (MMA) thanks to his unprecedented run with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) that saw him rule the Middleweight division with an iron fist, racking up a record 10-title defenses, as well as numerous highlight-reel finishes.
In Nov. 2020, UFC and Silva parted ways and “The Spider” hasn’t competed inside an MMA cage since after ending his run with the promotion at 1-7-1. Recently, the former 185-pound champion blasted UFC, claiming he was the recipient of unfair treatment toward the tail-end of his career.
“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. And talking a lot of sh*t about me,” Silva said. “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,” he continued. “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.”
When broached on the subject at UFC 274’s post-fight press conference, White was admittedly baffled by Silva’s criticism, saying he’s always been supportive of “The Spider.”
“Anderson Silva, what the f—k is Anderson Silva talking about?” White said (via MMA Fighting). “When have any of you ever heard me talk negative, except for the fight in Abu Dhabi, about Anderson Silva? Never. I’ve never talked bad about Anderson Silva.”
According to the outspoken UFC president, even when Silva was going through his slump, he allowed him to complete his contract instead of cutting him outright. Furthermore, he says by throwing Silva’s name out there in the Jake Paul sweepstakes, he was still trying to promote him in a sense.
“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 even stated that one of Silva’s sons texts him frequently about attending events, to which White replied that he is always welcome anytime he wants.
Nevertheless, Silva feels some kind of way about the way his storied tenure with the promotion ended, and he’s not shy in letting everyone hear about it. As far as his combat career post-UFC, “Spider” did defeat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a 10-round boxing match in June 2021, and then knocked out Tito Ortiz three months later.