Anderson Silva Tried to Save Cancelled UFC 151 Event to Help Undercard Fighters

August 30, 2012
52 Comments

When the news of UFC 151’s cancellation reached middleweight champion Anderson Silva in Brazil, his only thought was what could he do to help?

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.

For more news and rumors make sure to follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter.

  • Booker T

    Wow, I’m a Jones fan thinking of being a Silva fan now.

    • MaritalArtist

      I’m a GSP, Condit, big country and sonnen fan, but now I hate silva 40% less! Which is even less after he was very respectful of sonnen after he won by blatantly lubing up, blatantly grabbing his shorts and kneeing him while grounded a little too close to his head IMO. So now I hate silva hardly at all. If he wants me to love him (I have not received any calls or emails from Anderson yet lol), he’ll have to fight jones, jds and big country, and rematch hendo and Chael. Then yeah, we can be buds and go to the disco in west linn.

    • WhiteboyGBJJ

      Then you are an IDIOT. He should have offered to fight Jones, not any other light heavy EXCEPT Jones!

    • http://www.facebook.com/GrimmLoc jomitchell

      I think Silva is the Greatest Champ in MMA, regardless of what anyone says. The man fights with honor screw all these other guys that need to juice there asses off thinking that will get them wins. The funny thing is Silva was actually trying to save the event for those guys too.

  • sc_93e30ddf957d79a332ea4a30bd28d50c

    I would not want to be the next guy in to face Jones after all this piling on that’s all the rage. Now Silva would have saved the event . . . please . . . It was Dana’s call. The card was weak to begin with . . . that’s why he scrapped it. The only fight that I knew I cared about was at the top . . . was ready to be pleasantly surprised . . . but Dana knew it was weak. Can’t blame Jones too much for this. Jackson did the right thing. It’s business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001066818422 juliushodges

    Im a huge Silva fan but this article is a reminder that the pre-UFC Silva wasnt a huge star and I think its what makes him a great champion…He started out in the small shows unlike some of todays stars (Jon Jones). I still dont blame everything on Jones I agree with the sc_ above that the card was pretty weak and the UFC should’ve had a better co main event so this kind of thing couldnt happen. I hope in the future all UFC ppv’s will have big time co-main events.

    • KBEsq

      You know, it’s possible to be BOTH angry at Jon Jones for not taking the fight on short notice, AND not blame him for the cancellation of the event.

      People keep grouping these two things together, like if you’re mad at Jones, then you have to think it was his fault that the event was cancelled.

      By the way, there have probably been plenty of events in the past where if the main event completely fell off, the UFC would have to cancel. We just have no experience with that. Do you know why? Because no champ has ever turned down a late replacement due to injury before Jones.

      • MrAdidas

        Check & MATE!!! I completely agree, I mean do people actually think this was the “only weak card/ufc event” ever?!? I believe the 1st UFC event in Vancouver UFC 115 I think? Was “garbage” in regards of big name fighters, yet it was one of the best events of the year. It’s not about “big names” making fights interesting or even good, it’s the fighters them selves period. The more some of you realise this, the better off you will be when it comes to purchasing a UFC PPV.

        I understand not having the main event/title fight for a PPV sucks, I’m not disagreeing with you on that, but to say it’s the UFC’s fault for canceling the show b/c of the lack of “big” named fighters is nonsense. In 11+ years, the UFC/Dana has NEVER had to cancel an event due to a Champ refusing to take a fight. Let alone vs. a guy who only had 8 days to train, while the Champ had a full 8-10 week training camp & was healthy. To male things worst, the “replacement” was a smaller fighter/MW fighter moving up to LHW to face a guy whos been “untouchable.” Is it just me or is Sonnen pretty similar to Henderson … without the KO power in both hands?!?

        I used to love Jon Jones, but after his DWI/DUI, his comment about not wanting to fight Lyoto b/c it wouldn’t generate enough money from PPV’s & then days later, when Jones gets possibly the BIGGEST fight/PPV buys of his career, where his oponent will only have 8 days to gain weight & train to fight him he says NO, like WTF dude?!? Such a hypocrite. Losing MUCH respect for this young talented fighter, he may be very intelligent & skilled inside the Octagon, but he’s quite the opposite outside of it.

        • youdosuck

          UFC 115 was Liddell vs. Franklin, Cro Cop vs. Barry, and Condit vs. Mcdonald. Some legends and some future stars. Not worse than ufc 151.

  • pooby

    This sounds like a bunch of BS to me.

    • worldchamp

      That’s because you are not a Silva fan. I have a feeling you don’t believe anything Anderson says. It is possible that the guy really cares about others.

      • stak

        Silva didn’t even say any of this. It’s all being said by Soares. He doesn’t even truthfully translate for Silva when standing right next to the guy but we’re supposed to believe this?

      • MrAdidas

        I’m a little skeptical about this as well. Why are we only hearing about this “story” now?!? I know it was mentioned a couple of days after the cancelation, that Silva wanted to try & “save” this event, but I ended up seeing/reading about NO LHW”s wanted to fight Jones on short notice & ONLY 2 fighters actually steped up to fight Jones on 8 days notice & they were MW’s Chael Sonnen & Weidman. I then read about Edgar, Rousey & a couple other fighters talking about how they would have accepted the fight if they were Jones b/c he still had ALL the advantages. If anything, fighting Sonnen on 8 days would have been a hell of alot easier than fighting Henderson with a full training camp, obviously.

        Then many “smaller” fighters who dont get a fraction of what Jones gets paid to fight, started to voice their displeasure on tweeter, facebook etc. I then see an article 2 or 3 days later that states, Silva wanted to save the event from being canceled. I also believe that it was Sonnen who 1st commented about taking the fight on 8 days notice, so that the under card fighters would get paid.

        I’m not saying Silva didn’t ask if he could fight @ LHW, to save the card from being canceled, but it seems a little odd that it comes out 2 or 3 days after the whole fiasco & after Sonnen & Weidman both asked to fight Jon Jones. Not to mention Sonnen stated from day one that he was taking this fight for more than just one reason, being a title fight & to help the other fighters who NEEDED to fight this Saturday to pay bills. I dont understand why Anderson’s selfless act came out 2 or 3 days after the fact. Who know’s?!?

        • Triggerman99

          It came out the next day, not 2 or 3 days later.
          So sorry, but your huge Silva-hater post is incorrect. Sorry you spent all that time writing it for nothing.

          • WhiteboyGBJJ

            And if Silva was a real man, he would have offered to fight Jones rater than any other fighter at Light Heavy than Jones~ Take it for what it is. A ploy to garner some support for his failing as a champ.

    • Lesnardo

      I agree.

      Damon Martin finally managed to write something error free.

      But he doesn’t understand news reporting vs writing an opinion piece.

      This is all bunch of hearsay bs.

      Silva probably wanted to make money. But the UFC decided to pull the plug. Now Silva (or Sore Ass) (or Damon Martin) is going around saying that Silva is some samaritan that wanted to sacrifice his career by saving a card.

      Well, Soares should have added, “and silva is such a good guy that he was willing to fight for free!”

      WE ARE NOT 3RD GRADERS HERE! STOP FEEDING US NONSENSE!

      • Triggerman99

        You do realize that Silva did actually offer to fight, right?
        I know you’d like to believe that its completely made-up so you can go on thinking Silva is a selfish demon baby-eater, but its just not in the cards.
        Sorry.

        • Lesnardo

          You r so dumb.

          I don’t dispute (at least I don’t care enough to dispute) the fact that Silva offered to fight.

          But I have an issue with Damon Martin’s assessment of the reason as to why Silva did so.

          I never thought of Silva as a selfish demon baby-eater.

          Your logic stinks. Your reading comprehension stinks.

          Triggerman99..nice moniker

          • Triggerman99

            Its not Damon Martin’s opinion. He’s reporting what he was told. That’s his job.
            Take some of your own advice and learn the difference between reporting and opinion, or simply learn to stop making yourself look stupid by chasting the use of opinion and then hypocritically employing your own unfounded opinion to make your arguement.

          • Lesnardo

            Umm….no…

            “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.”

            Damon Martin conflated his opinion with what’s been reported.

            Triggerman99 = duumb

          • Triggerman99

            “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.”
            That’s not opinion, that’s reiteration of what was reported to him. The whole quote that he was paraphrasing is directly below that sentence.

            Try again, genius….

        • stak

          did you personally hear this offer come from anderson silva’s mouth?

          • Triggerman99

            Nope, I just read the article like everybody else.
            You know how when a manager says something regarding his fighter’s preference that the fans may not like, and then the detractors say “Well even though the fighter didn’t say it, the manager did. So its the same thing”.
            Yeah, that applies both ways. If the manager said it, then its the same thing.

  • goleta83

    I’m not a fan of his, but this is pretty impressive. I think he could’ve taken JJ on 8 days notice.

  • felix

    All of this, even the cancellation of 151 sound like good news to me. You guys need to read between lines. Anderson said he will fight any 205, but not jon jones ON A 8 DAYS NOTICE. What this means is if given enough time to prepare he is willing. And now because of this the buzz and hype is on! I think that thank to the 151 cancellation, the probability of seeing Jones vs Silva someday have increased a lot! I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    • TKD

      I agree Felix. I sort of read in between the lines on that too. Or maybe it is just wishful thinking on our parts. Either way, I hope it happens.

      • MrAdidas

        Would I love to see Silva vs. Jones … ABSOLUTELY! GSP vs. Silva is a joke, a much bigger fighter vs. a much smaller one doesnt make for that much interest. Skill vs. skill, it would be sick. But when 2 fighters are as great as they are, size then becomes an issue, along with the strength & the reach advantage.

        Silva should fight the top contenders @ MW or move up to LHW & GSP should fight the increasingly long list of WW contenders. We already seen what happens when 2 incredible skilled fighters fight each other, when one has a decent size advantage … GSP vs. BJ, the maller guy usually gets spanked.

        • Triggerman99

          Oh my god…enough already!!!
          Nobody even said anything about GSP vs Silva. Why are you even talking about that?
          Seriously, what is wrong with you?

    • MrAdidas

      As much as I want to believe that the “info” in between the lines is true, I doubt Anderson will sac up & fight @ LHW … vs. a top 10 or top 5 LHW. I don’t buy that Silva has to fight Jones to prove much of anything, but I think in order for Silva to be considered the G.O.A.T he has to fight @ LHW & not cans like his first 2 oponents. Fighting smaller bums @ MW doesn’t impress me, nor do I beleive it’s enough for him to be considered G.O.A.T, I think it’s time to move up and see how he does vs. world class fighters his own size. I dont expect him to beat Jones, nor would he have to – to be considered the #1 P4P, but he would have to fight Rua, Evans, Gustafsson (not sure how to spell his name) or Thiago Silva & win most of those fights, even if it’s by decision. I would easily consider him to be G.O.A.T, but not by fighting smaller & less skilled fighters @ MW. (Franklin, Henderson, Marquardt & Sonnen are world class MW’s – but thats it). What’s funny is that NOONE would have considered Sonnen in the same class as Franklin or Henderson b4 his 1st fight vs. Silva, I know I never. I thought Sonnen was going to get KTFO in the 1st round.

      Hypothetically speaking, if Silva fought 8 LHW’s in the top 10 & he won 5 or more of those fights, regardless of how (a win. is a win. is a win) b/c getting the W is all that matters. If Silva was able to do that, I would easily consider him the G.O.A.T. I don’t think that’s unrealistic for a fighter with his skill. But only fighting the guys he’s fought @ MW … Leben, Maia, Cote, Leites, Lutter, Okami (whos not that great, lets be honest) & Belfort who isnt all that great anymore either & fought Silva after being out for like 18+ months … smart decision. If you incluse his 2 Wins at LHW, it makes his “resume” even less impressive … Forrest I run in straight & throw slow punches Griffin & Irvin … really?!? The guy was barely a top 20 LHW. Forrest was only champ b/c of one reason, he fought a 1 dimensional Rampage.

      • felix

        Well, Silva had said in the past that he’ll fight whoever Dana says. For me is Dana that is preventing Silva to move up. The LHW division is packed right now with known names, but the middleweight is not. Silva moving up will leave that division in a very weak state. I think Dana is just keepeng things balanced between the divisions. In the end is just what is best for the business. And Silva is very close to the retiring age anyway. He’s got two years at most left.

        • Lesnardo

          You are a horrible writer. Please go back to school. Your logic is not sharp enough to be taken seriously.

          “Well, Silva had said in the past that he’ll fight who[m]ever Dana [tells him to fight]. For me[,] [it] is Dana [who] is preventing Silva [from] [moving] up. The LHW division is packed right now with known names, but the middleweight [division] is not. Silva moving up [would] leave that division in a very weak state. I think Dana is just [balancing the two divisions.] In the end[,] [it] is just what is best for the business. And Silva is very close to the retiring age anyway. He’s got two years at most left.”

          JUST CORRECTED THE ATROCIOUS MISTAKES. YOU NEED TO TAKE EDUCATION SERIOUSLY, OR YOU WILL END UP LIKE DAMON MARTIN, A WANNABE JOURNALIST EEKING OUT A LIVING WRITING BS ARTICLES ALL DAY AND FETISHING DANA WHITE AND SWEATY MMA FIGHTERS.

          • felix

            English is not my primary language. Sorry if that offend you.

          • Lesnardo

            Dear felix:

            Sorry. I didn’t know. Forget what I said. Foreigners are excused from grammar nazism.

    • Lesnardo

      Naw dude. Your inference is unwarranted.

      Silva fought twice at 205 in the UFC. One was against an undercard guy by the name of James Irwin. Silva had a full training camp to fight the dude. Then he fought a overhyped Forrest Griffin who is at best a top 15 LHW. Silva also had a full training camp to fight Forrest.

      So what makes you think Silva would fight ANY one on 8 days notice?

      The most likely scenario is this:

      (1) Silva at some point did in fact, either directly or thru his agent, communicate to the UFC his willingness to fight should the UFC save UFC 151.

      (2) It is not entirely clear when such communication was made, although it sounds like it was made after the UFC had decided to cancel UFC 151 but before the announcement of such cancellation to the public or to Anderson Silva.

      (3) Anderson Silva, or his agent, most likely meant that he would fight ANY 205er, subject to his final approval.

      (4) At best, Anderson offered to fight a guy like James Irwin or Forrest Griffin or Stephan Bonar or other middle-of-the-pack to undercard level fighter.

      (5) In no case did Anderson intend to fight Shogun, Lyoto (if even possible), Rampage, or Rashad, on 8 day notice. Furthermore, Anderson most likely did not intend to fight a top notch wrestler like Ryan Bader on 8 day notice.

      (6) It is funny how MMAWEEKLY views this ex post facto comment as some sort of convincing evidence that Silva is a ultimate warrior samaritan.

      This is my conclusion.

      • Triggerman99

        “(5) In no case did Anderson intend to fight Shogun, Lyoto (if even possible), Rampage, or Rashad, on 8 day notice. Furthermore, Anderson most likely did not intend to fight a top notch wrestler like Ryan Bader on 8 day notice”

        LOL!! I love how you can completely make something up and act like it carries any merit whatsoever. Who do you think you are? Do you really think you actually have any idea what took place or what Silva was thinking? You use terms like “it sounds like” and ‘most likely”, but how do you weigh the probability of those scenarios? Is it just they help paint the picture you want them to paint for your “conclusion”?
        You’re obviously very biased, so you “conclusion” means nothing to logical observers.

        • Lesnardo

          I am going by common sense and fair reading of statements provided. You lack common sense. And you accept everything that has to do with “UFC.”

          • Triggerman99

            The statements provided say that he was willing to step up for the sake of saving the card and allowing the other fighters to still fight and be payed, and he was willing to do that against any other top 205er than Jones.

            Now how do you employ “fair reading of statements” in your post above?
            What you wrote is the exact opposite of fair reading of statements.

            Trying to double talk your way into being right isn’t the best method of debate. Just sayin….

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.mac.9828 ericmac

    Why was this posted today? This is really old and outdated news. It was news the same night it happened, even before Machida rejecting the fight.

    • Lesnardo

      This is the second time MMAWEEKLY has posted this “news”.

  • Triggerman99

    Silva has stepped up to help the company before, and this was no different. Regardless of what his haters blindly choose to believe, the guy did a stand-up thing here, just like he has in the past.

    The question is, would a LHW have been willing to step up and fight Silva at 205 on short notice? I’m guessing it would have been a short list (Sonnen probably would have! LOL)

    • Lesnardo

      just stfu. You sound like a naive MMA groupie who Dana loves to manipulate.

      • Triggerman99

        LOL!
        Haters are always so angry!

        So because I don’t agree with you, it not only means that Silva, Soares, and Damon Martin are manipulating my fragile little mind, but now Dana as well?

        Oh no! What shall I do? Oh please Mr. biased, hateful, obsessive MMA message board scholar who loves to spend his time commenting not on things he actually likes, but on things he hates, please free my mind! Show me the way! Save me!!!!
        LOL

        Seriously dude, you have a problem.

        • Lesnardo

          This is probably the smartest thing you’ve said.

          • Triggerman99

            Which part? Was it the part about haters being angry, or the part about you seriously having a problem? Oh, I know! It was the part about you being biased, hateful, and obsessive?

            Yeah, that was pretty smart, wasn’t it?
            LOL!

  • http://theinstruction.com Theinstruction.com

    MrAdidas COULDNT HAVE SAID IT ANY BETTER. I SAID THE SAME THING! IT MADE NO SENSE. I TOTALLY AGREE. “I used to love Jon Jones, but after his DWI/DUI, his comment about not wanting to fight Lyoto b/c it wouldn’t generate enough money from PPV’s & then days later, when Jones gets possibly the BIGGEST fight/PPV buys of his career, where his oponent will only have 8 days to gain weight & train to fight him he says NO, like WTF dude?!? Such a hypocrite. Losing MUCH respect for this young talented fighter, he may be very intelligent & skilled inside the Octagon, but he’s quite the opposite outside of it.”

  • L060

    i myself found it strange that anderson ( they are supposedly, or allegedly saying )
    that he would fight jones after in a couple interviews he said he would not or never fight jbj, am i missing something here?

    We also know jbj had his reasons not to fight of the given reasons, or just to punish chael sonnen for his tweeted rants, but to me it seems also that jones didnt want to be a guy kind of being a tool for the ufc maybe?
    anderson says no to weidman, well then what if they put a vera, thiago silva, rua, evans against amderson silva ?

    this is and has been getting stranger by the minute, and to me it is not about the card it is the fights, hoping that the fighters could’ve showed up the big names in the ufc roster.

    cancel a card over one fight ? c’mon sumthinz up here with the ufc, anyone care to add and share?

    thanks

    • Triggerman99

      Well I do agree that the card shouldn’t have been cancelled, because you’re right; the fights still could have turned out to be fantastic, regardless of the fact that there weren’t really any big names. But Dana wasn’t willing to risk it.
      As far as Anderson being willing to fight Jones with a longer training camp- while he’s said in the past that he would never do it- it’s probably due to the odd circumstances.
      If I had to guess (and I’m only guessing, based on what my mindset would be in this situation), I’d say that what Silva meant was that if he had more advanced warning (like an extra few weeks), he would have fought Jones to save the card, because he would have had enough training time to compete with someone of Jones’ caliber. But as it stood, he didn’t feel he had enough time to train for Jones, but was willing to bank that he could be competitive with any other 205er with the amount of training he would have been able to do.
      Basically, he wanted to try and keep the show from being cancelled, but getting destroyed by Jones because he wasn’t nearly prepared enough to fight him was too much to ask. But he would take another fight if it meant keeping the card from being cancelled.

      Again, that’s just how I am interpreting it. I don’t claim to know exactly what he meant.

  • L060

    well, i can understand the premise of your point triggerman, yet i have to say this all appears contradictory within all the guesses and theories, since in fact anderson said himself that jones is too young and too good for him.

    The fact dana says and we can only not really go by what a promoter says since we can say that inevitably jones i would go and say would have the greater advantage against silva, silva at 37, up in weight class jones’s uncanny unpredictability, his ability to close the gap, wrestling skillset, and reach.

    i would think something may have been offered to the managers of silva and they including silva behind the scenes said no, but honest to save the the other fighters? i don’t know if i can believe that on the account of the nature of everything entailing up to this fight.

    we know that after beating forrest griffen, ( no disrespect to forrest but his style is slow ploding and predictable. ) was an easy fight, yet had it been say asking silva to go against a thiago silva, rampage, stephean struve, i wouldn’t know, since on fact he said no to weidman.

    And whatever his manager guimaraes said is just opinion, we’ve seen in mma the x factor has surprised many in the past bouts before, after all i though jones was going to lose against everyone he went up against even rashad because of the experience of , rampage, vera, rua, and rashad, these guys are world rank in the top 10 LHW.
    thanks for you input.. it’s an interesting perspective..

    • Triggerman99

      Yeah I see what you’re saying about Silva’s seemingly sudden change of heart. But like I said, could it be that these extenuating circumstances caused Silva to reconsider his stance? I don’t think it’s an impossibility that Silva was willing to soften his stance if it meant that UFC 151 could possibly still be salvaged.
      Eh, who knows?

  • shereko

    Haters hate, thats what they do… Soares was asked a question in an interview, Silva wasnt doing the interview, so how would he give the answer he wasnt looking for pub to do it, he was looking for a chance to help undercard fighters. Do you also think if he said he’d fight Jones that Jones would have excepted that fight?

    • Lesnardo

      If he wants to fight the undercard, he should donate his money to them. Wait…he doesn’t want to help him to that extent. But…he would risk his career by fighting a top 5 205lber on 8 day notice?

      Use your common sense. This is all PR.

  • BlackDog2009

    I’m sick of these trainers and their bullshit. Their attempt at prolonging their meal ticket to the ends of the earth. Jones ducking challengers, Silva ducking challengers… what a sad state of affairs in UFC. These fighters are sticking their middle fingers to DW and the Fertittas, never thought I’d see the day. Not a fan of DW by any means but this turn of events can’t be good for UFC at all.