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Morning Report: Anderson Silva blasts the UFC: ‘They try to use you and kick you out’

Anderson Silva (MMAF,EL) Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Add Anderson Silva to the growing list of fighters who have issues with the UFC.

Silva is arguably the most successful fighters in UFC history, having held the middleweight title for nearly seven years, amassing 10 title defenses, and accruing numerous records inside the promotion. “The Spider” left the organization in 2020 after losing three fights in a row and seven of nine (including one No Contest). At the time, Silva was purportedly retiring from the sport, however, in the aftermath it became clear that Silva still wanted to compete and that his exit was less than amicable, and speaking with SportsNaut recently, Silva expounded on that.

“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 told. “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. 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.”

Silva, in fact, did not stop competing, though he has not yet returned to MMA. Since his exit from the UFC, Silva has turned to the world of professional boxing where last year he won a split decision over former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and then knocked out Tito Ortiz. And his decision to continue fighting seems to have only hardened his stance on the way the UFC treated him at the end of his run.

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

That wasn’t Silva’s only issue with the UFC though. In recent years, many MMA stars have flirted with professional boxing because of the bigger paydays they can make in the sport, with current UFC champions Francis Ngannou and Kamaru Usman making direct pleas to go box. Having now made that transition himself, Silva understands why.

“In my fight in Mexico, I made more money than my last three fights in MMA,” Silva said. “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 [them]’. It was good for me sometimes and it was good for UFC too. It’s done it’s over. But it’s important I say that, everything I say about the situation because this is what happened to me.”

At 47 years old, Silva still appears to be full steam ahead on his boxing career. Next weekend he will compete in an exhibition bout against Bruno Machida in the co-main event of a Floyd Mayweather exhibition card in Abu Dhabi.

LIVE! Watch UFC 286 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

CHAMPIONSHIP TRILOGY! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to The O2 in London England, on Sat., March 18, 2023, with newly-minted Welterweight kingpin, Leon Edwards, running it back with former 170-pound champion, Kamaru Usman, for a third (and likely final) time. In UFC 286’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, all-action Lightweight knockout artists, Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev, will lock horns with the winner inching closer to a future Lightweight title shot.

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