Dissent seems to be growing among the UFC ranks.
Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva was the latest to express a lack of satisfaction regarding treatment from the Las Vegas-based promotion. That sentiment stems from what “The Spider” perceives as a lack of gratitude for his willingness to step in on short notice and face Daniel Cormier at UFC 200. Silva lost a unanimous decision in a non-title bout against Cormier after Jon Jones was pulled from the event for failing an out-of-competition drug test.
"Man, it’s complicated to talk about it," Silva told Brazilian media outlet UOL Esporte. "I didn’t even get a ‘thank you’ from Dana or Lorenzo after my last fight. I was the one who wanted to fight, of course, I took the fight, but I know what I’m worth, my importance. I was really disappointed with the lack of respect from the UFC towards Brazilian athletes. I’m an athlete who took the sport to another level. I don’t get or [have ever gotten] the respect from people. That made me really upset, sad and disappointed with the UFC."
When speaking of overall treatment toward Brazilian athletes, Silva could also be referencing the recent situation involving Jose Aldo. The interim featherweight champion recently asked for his contract to be terminated after the promotion granted Conor McGregor a lightweight title shot at UFC 205 instead of making him defend the 145-pound belt.
Additionally, Silva is also unhappy with the way the UFC offered him the chance to be a fill-in for this weekend’s middleweight title bout between Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson. Silva lost a unanimous decision to Bisping at the UFC Fight Night London headliner on Feb. 27, but the result was not without controversy. The Brazilian floored Bisping with a flying knee late in the third round after the British fighter attempted to unsuccessfully lobby for a break in the action to retrieve his mouthpiece. However, referee Herb Dean did not stop the fight, and Silva’s celebration turned out to be premature.
HIs view of the fight’s outcome undoubtedly made him feel slighted by the UFC’s offer.
"I didn’t talk to them or anyone after my last fight," Silva said. "They even offered me to stay in standby in case something happened with Bisping or Henderson. But it’s more absurd how that [offer] came. They didn’t even talk to me. My representatives came as a messenger pigeon. I'm not the type of guy to get messages. After everything I’ve done, I still have to stand by and wait for a fight I won? I found it a little unpleasant.”
Although Silva is winless in his last five outings, for many years he was regarded as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport during his reign atop the middleweight division. The 41-year-old doesn’t feel like he’s being respected the way someone with that type of resume should be.
"I will say it again: I’m really disappointed with the way they have treated me, very upset with all that," he said. "I was not the one who said I was the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Dana said that. Maybe he said that to promote the event or because he really thought that. We will never know the truth. The fact is that everything I’ve done, no one else could do. I won’t want to be cocky or arrogant or think I’m the best, but what I’ve tried to do all those years was to show I was different from the others. And that’s not my opinion, but everyone’s."