Silva immediately called his manager Ed Soares in the United States and asked him what was going on, and if he could step into a fight to help save the show.
“He goes, ‘Hey, I just heard the show was potentially going to be cancelled,’ and I said yeah it’s true, it got cancelled. He goes, ‘Well, call Dana and tell him that I’m not in fighting shape, so I can’t make 185. I can’t make my 185 weight, but I’d be willing to step up and fight a 205er on eight days notice if it’s going to help save the event,’” Sores revealed when speaking with MMAWeekly Radio.
“He goes, ‘I’m not prepared to take on Jon Jones because I haven’t been training, so I don’t think I’m ready for a championship bout, but I definitely would fight any other 205-pounder who is willing to step up and take the challenge.’”
Unfortunately, the UFC’s decision to cancel the event had already been made by the time Silva found out about it, so his offer came in just a bit too late to save the show. UFC president Dana White was very appreciative of the offer, no matter what eventually happened.
“I gave Dana a call and he was just like, ‘Wow, I never expected that, but tell him thank you. I wish I would have known that 24 hours ago,’” said Soares.
As the longest reigning champion in UFC history, Anderson Silva has stepped up and helped the company in the past, but this wasn’t about the UFC this time.
Silva’s reason for stepping up on only eight days notice was about helping out the fighters on the undercard because he’s walked in their shoes before, and he knows how important it can be to fight when you’re scheduled to fight.
“His biggest concern was really the other fighters. He said, ‘Ed, I remember when I was at that level of fighter where some of these undercard guys were, and the difference in paying your rent and putting food on the table was whether you were going to fight or not,’ and he said if there’s anything he could do to help the other fighters, he would step up and do it,” said Soares.
“The thing that hit closest to home to him was just simply the other fighters not getting the opportunity to earn their living.”
Many of the undercard fighters from UFC 151 have expressed some hardships endured following the cancellation of the event. Most of the competitors have been shifted to other cards, but the sting of losing a paycheck on Sept. 1 still hurts.
Since UFC 151 didn’t work out, Silva will now await word on his next opponent, which will likely be scheduled during 2013.
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