Anderson Silva has a unique perspective on how the UFC should do business, especially now that he’s looked at from the outside.
It’s been nearly two years since “The Spider” broke up with the dubbed Homecoming promotion from 2006 to 2020, and right now, he’s looking forward to his much-talked-about boxing match against YouTube star Jake Paul that takes place in October. 29 in Glendale, Arizona.
while appearing on MMA watch On Wednesday, Silva spoke about Paul’s feud with UFC president Dana White about fighters’ salaries before offering his thoughts on the complex relationship between the promotion and its fighters.
“They are two things,” Silva said. Jake and his brother [Logan] Try to draw attention to something very important. On the flip side, when you come to the UFC, you have your manager, you have your team, and you need to take care of your work, right? What happens when people go to the UFC and start talking about, ‘I don’t make money,’ and this and that – you have a chance to sign the contract or not. Your manager, lawyer, and team need to take care of this part of the job, because you don’t have the time to focus on it. You need to take care because you represent your company. You have a contract to do work in the UFC. It’s your company because you put your body into crazy things. In the UFC, you put in the work and put everything in your name, to make the big show.
“In this case, I don’t think the UFC is wrong or that Dana is wrong. Dana tried to do your job and the UFC [gives you] a job. The problem is the fighters when they enter and sign the contract. You have already signed the contract, you have no opportunity to change until the contract expires.
“My personal opinion, of course the UFC can pay fighters better. In particular, two fighters are doing something very incredible within the UFC and make the UFC name strong and powerful. Make more [respect] for the brand. But it’s all about you, talk to your manager, and get something good behind you to protect you, so don’t sign something you don’t like in the future. Lots of talented fighters sign something pretty crazy because the manager doesn’t care about the fighters. It’s just about numbers and money, and that’s the problem.”
Silva, 47, has repeatedly emphasized the importance of building fighters by using the platform the UFC has given them, pointing to the Paul brothers as examples of how to increase their value. Both Jake and Logan Paul have leveraged their massive social media success into their combat sports careers, with Jake beating former MMA champions Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren, and Logan after going eight rounds with Floyd Mayweather and also signing with WWE to become one of their biggest attractions. .
During the UFC’s 14-year run, Silva has become one of the dominant champions in promotion, a fan favorite fighter, and a steady draw for pay-per-view. He resents fighters who openly complain about their contracts, though he acknowledges that there is one aspect of White’s approach to business that has never satisfied him.
It’s weird to me, said Silva, because everyone signs and when they start inside talking, ‘You guys aren’t paying me right,’ and this and that. “I’ve never, in my life, talked about how much the UFC paid me because I fight so much and that’s my problem with Dana – it’s not a problem, it’s a company, Anderson Silva is a company that goes inside the UFC and signs the contract. Two companies that work together.”
My problem with Dana is [when he] He talks about fights because Dana has never fought mixed martial arts in his life. That’s my problem, when he talks about, “You can’t do that, you can’t do that, you don’t fight right.” No, no, that’s my only problem with Dana. I think Dana is a good person. Everyone talks about Dana, “It’s no good, so-and-so.” He is a good person, but he is a businessman. The UFC doesn’t get to that point now as a big, big company in the world if people think, “I did something, I’m sorry to the fighters, I did something wrong.” No, the company came about because scammers did something and that’s the game. Are you inside or not? You can sign or not sign, you can go anywhere, but when you sign, you make the deal with my company. You can’t say anything because why did you fall? I have fallen. You have a contract. “Oh no, let me get out of the contract.” You signed the contract and you saw the rules of the contract so why are you talking about it now? And I’m very lucky that I’m no longer in the UFC and have my own journey now. I don’t need to say, “Can I do that?” I don’t need to ask permission from the UFC or from Dana for absolutely nothing anymore.”
Silva has already boxed twice since his last UFC match, defeating former WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June 2021, then ousting UFC legend Tito Ortiz on tour three months later.
If other fighters want to have the same opportunities, he advises them to have the right team to help them understand the business better. Because the change is unlikely to come from the UFC’s side.
“Dana is Dana,” Silva said. “He represents the UFC, he represents the UFC brand. They are not fighters who represent the brand, Dana represents the brand and people have to understand that. I don’t speak anything bad about Dana, that’s the truth. Who represents the brand? They are not fighters, it’s Dana White. It’s unbelievable because when you see the media and everyone is waiting for Dana to start.Why?Because this is the UFC tag, Dana White. [He does] good job. A lot of people talk bad, a lot of people talk a lot about Dana, but in my opinion, Dana is doing his best job, and he continues to be successful within the sport.”
Silva later added, “I feel sad that of course the UFC can pay more for fighters, especially the heavyweight guys and a couple of fighters.” “I think the UFC needs to understand that better because the world has changed and the new generation is starting to think about this. ‘Why would you go fight in the UFC? I go there to be famous and guys don’t pay me good money to put my life at risk. I lost a fight or two fights. Because I’m human, the guy will fire me and I’ve lost everything. And the new generation is starting to think about it. People have to understand that this is the game, it’s about numbers. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the UFC, or in boxing, at a regular job, it’s a number. You achieve results. You’re going to be successful. You’re not doing well, you’re out.”
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