Wanderlei Silva retired from MMA last month, citing that the UFC tried to turn his fans against him, and saying that they didn’t pay him enough to live.
The NSAC has since banned the former PRIDE champion for life, and fined him $70,000, however UFC President Dana White took a recent opportunity to defend his company.
He spoke to Combate after the UFC 178 weigh-ins.
“You know how much money Wanderlei Silva has made since he’s been with the UFC? $9.7 million,”
“So Silva says everybody’s getting rich except the fighters. What does Wanderlei consider rich? $9.7 million isn’t rich? A lot of people would consider that rich. Let me say you what: Wanderlei Silva has fought six times in the last five years. He’s fought six times in five years. If being overworked is fighting one time a year, I don’t know what to tell you.”
“And I think his strategy right now is brilliant. If Wanderlei Silva was standing here, not me, and you’re interviewing him, he would go crazy about ‘I hate the UFC, these guys don’t pay us, I’ve given them my body and they don’t pay.’”
“When we offered him the fight, he said he was hurt. We sent him to a doctor two different times, and the doctor said ‘this man is not hurt. There’s nothing wrong with him,’”
“He’s under contract. His contract is frozen. It doesn’t matter. His contract doesn’t matter. He has been banned from the athletic commission. He’s appealing it, and he needs to go through the legal process. This thing is gonna play out. You know, I never had anything bad to say about Wanderlei, I still don’t have anything bad to say about Wanderlei, but he could have not have handled this situation any worse than he has.”
“Drug tests are in place for the safety of all the fighters. Not only did he run from the drug test, I kept calling him and he didn’t return any of my calls, any of my texts, and he didn’t return anybody else’s phone calls and texts,” White added. “This man disappeared from the face of the Earth for days.”
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