Although UFC President Dana White insists that he won’t speak bad about Wanderlei Silva despite “The Axe Murderer” going on an anti-UFC tirade during his MMA retirement announcement, he can’t seem to avoid talking about the subject.
“You know how much money Wanderlei Silva has made since he’s been with the UFC? $9.7 million,” said White during a post-UFC 178 weigh-ins interview with Combate.
“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,” insisted White. “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.”
White continued, “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.’”
Regarding the injury that kept him out of the fight with Chael Sonnen following the filming of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, White claims there’s more to the story than what Silva led on.
“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,” said White.
The UFC President continued his rant, touching on subjects such as Silva’s “lifetime ban” from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the incident that led to the ruling — running from a pre-fight drug test.
“He’s under contract. His contract is frozen,” White 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.”
White concluded, “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. This man disappeared from the face of the Earth for days.”