Anderson Silva is the greatest middleweight in the history of our sport. In fact, he could even be the greatest fighter ever, period. As such, his opinion on the state of the UFC and the larger MMA landscape will always be very interesting.
In a recent interview with Brazilian TV show Combate News, Silva weighed in on the current state of the UFC, and how things have changed since it was sold by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, and purchased by entertainment giant WME-IMG.
According to Silva, the UFC has changed quite a bit under this new regime, with the focus shifting from legitimate martial arts contests to bouts that favor entertainment. The example Silva used to articulate this thought is the fact that top middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was recently pencilled in for a fight with Tim Boetsch, rather than a middleweight title fight with Michael Bisping.
Silva’s words (via MMAFighting.com).
“It’s a company that is worried about entertainment. 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. 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,” he added. “MMA doesn’t have the martial art philosophy, but it’s becoming less sport and turning into entertainment.”
Do you agree with Anderson Silva on this point? What do you think of the way WME-IMG is handling the UFC? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/22/2017.