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Dana White: Wanderlei Silva made $9.7 million in the UFC

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Dana White "doesn’t want to say anything bad about Wanderlei Silva," but he won’t stay quiet while the recently retired MMA light heavyweight rants about his MMA promotion.

Silva retired from the sport on Sept. 19, and vowed to start "a war" against promoters, claiming they underpay the fighters, and attacking the athletic commission. Banned for life and fined $70,000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission, Silva got a response from the UFC president.

"You know how much money Wanderlei Silva has made since he’s been with the UFC? $9.7 million," White said in an interview to Combate after UFC 178 weigh-ins.

"So Silva says everybody’s getting rich except the fighters. What does Wanderlei considers rich? $9.7 million isn’t rich? A lot of people would consider that rich," he continued. "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.’"

Silva went 4-5 inside the Octagon after his run at PRIDE, where he reigned for years. According to White, the Brazilian legend, who retires from the sport following an epic TKO victory over Brian Stann in Japan, pretended to be injured to avoid fighting Chael Sonnen earlier this year.

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"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,’" White said.

The Brazilian is still under contract with the UFC, and White wants to wait and see how his fight against the NAC will end.

"He’s under contract. His contract is frozen," he said. "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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