Wanderlei Silva Retires, Blames UFC for Taking Away His Desire to Fight

September 20, 2014
Comments off

Wanderlei SilvaAn extremely emotional Wanderlei Silva on Friday released a video on YouTube announcing his retirement from fighting.

He didn’t stop there, however. He also provided plenty of reasoning behind his retirement, perhaps to deflect away from his current status with the Nevada Athletic Commission or maybe his current regulatory struggles are just a portion of the reasoning, as he indicated in the video.

SEE ALSO: Wanderlei Silva Retirement Announcement Video

Silva has been brought before the Nevada Athletic Commission for fleeing from a random drug test in late May, a drug test related to his agreed bout with Chael Sonnen at UFC 175; a fight that fell apart due to the trouble each had in relation to random drug testing.

That case is still being heard by the commission and is on the docket for the NAC’s next monthly meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 23, in Las Vegas. There is a chance it could be dismissed, if his lawyer’s motion is approved, but more likely, the commission will not accept the motion and instead conduct a disciplinary hearing and levy action against him.

The case against him wasn’t the heart of Silva’s retirement monologue, though; the treatment of fighters by promoters, particularly the UFC, was his focus.

“I’ve had numerous injuries and numerous surgeries. Now I’m paying the bill and I feel all those injuries,” said Silva, adding that the promoter, implying the UFC, doesn’t care.

He went on to give further examples, pointing to the UFC not paying him what he was worth until they needed to try and convince him to fight through injury to accept a fight, and notably held up former UFC bantamweight champion Renato Barao as a further exhibit of poor fighter treatment.

After Barao lost his belt to TJ Dillashaw in May, the UFC asked him to fight in an immediate rematch three months later, which admittedly can be a bit of a quick return for some fighters, not so much for others. Silva apparently believed it was too much to ask of Barao, saying that his fellow Brazilian’s body couldn’t handle another weight cut so soon.

But what really upset Silva about the Barao situation was how the UFC treated its former champion when he had complications when cutting weight and ended up at a local hospital.

“What did the promoters do? They bashed and mocked him,” Silva alleged. “This makes me angry and makes me look at the sport in a different way.

“I feel that I don’t have a dignified stage where the athletes are respected. They are wearing down the athletes; they make them fight under any circumstances and any conditions. They use us to make rivers of money. They don’t respect the athletes, they don’t take care of the athletes, and they don’t pay the athletes.

“Enough is enough. They don’t respect us as athletes. They don’t respect us at all,” he continued.

In the next moments, it became abundantly clear where this tirade was leading Silva… into retirement.

“For those reasons, I come here today with a very heavy weight in my heart. Today is a very sad day for me. Unfortunately, this organization took away my desire to fight. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t keep being treated this way,” Silva revealed.

“And with a heavy heart I come here today to declare: I am stepping down from the ring. After today, Wanderlei Silva will not fight again. My career is over. For these reasons, I have had enough.”

Although he retired, it doesn’t appear that Silva is prepared to go gentle into that good night.

Even the title of the video hinted at this, part of which read, “This is Not a Goodbye.”

“Wanderlei Silva is rising up now,” he said. “The fighters need a voice. They need someone who will speak up about the truth. I am here to say the truth. They can’t shut me up.”

He went on to thank all of his fans around the world for their support and the moments they contributed to: “Moments that no money can buy and no promoter can take away. In the end, the only prize a fighter keeps is you. The rest is only an illusion.”

What Silva’s next step is – what he meant by saying “this is not a goodbye” – was unclear.

UFC officials had no comment on Silva’s retirement or accusations at the time of publication.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

  • goldengate1

    The UFC greed is out of control. Dana White makes a million a week yet he can’t wait to inform the world that Barao “isn’t getting a fuking dime” for not being able to fight. Barao didn’t miss weight, he got injured trying to make weight. Great way to treat your champion who
    White claimed was maybe the best p4p only days earlier. Silva is absolutely right!

    • taylor2008

      Barao wasnt the champ. TJ was. TJ took it to him and beat him.

      • Troll


        • taylor2008

          How am I a troll for stating the fact that TJ is the champ?

    • Dim .

      U talk a lot for an ignorant! U were with Barao in the tub to confirm he hit his head?

  • taylor2008

    I am a Silva fan but why is he blaming the UFC? Seems like Silva cant take roids anymore so he is blaming them? Blame the Nevada commission.

    • Dragon Kid

      He’s blaming them for the poor pay & especially the treatment of their fighters.

      • taylor2008

        I couldnt read the whole thing because I was in a hurry to post and leave.
        Thats what some of the fighters have been saying. Poor treatment and pay.

  • DamianCross

    If Rampage retired tomorrow and posted this exact same video everyone would call him a whiny bitch.

  • Timothy Malone

    Of course they are going to favor fighters who do quick turnarounds and stay active, but there is a reason the UFC fully pays the health insurance premiums of its fighters: a healthy roster is in their own interest.

    The Barao situation angered them because they viewed it as something that was avoidable if properly handled. There are plenty of examples of the UFC paying fighters who did not fight for reasons out of their control.

    • TheCerealKiller

      If they all were stopped by rules of cutting so much weigh, this wouldn’t be a problem. If there was a limit on the amount of weight they were allowed to cut, we would see better fights.

    • Mikemck83

      It’s not health insurance that the UFC is providing. Not in the normal sense of what most people think of as health insurance. It’s injury insurance, and there are very specific circumstances that must be met for a fighter to receive benifeit.

      It was also interesting to see how many fighters dropped out of fights right after they received coverage. The UFC might consider the choice to get insurance as a bad one. So many less fighters are fighting with injury and are dropping fights.

  • Shocked_n_Awed

    What a pathetic bitch.

    Good, f— off Wanderlie; you’ve essentially been gone for a while now, this just makes it official – before the commission makes it official for you.

    At least Sonnen took all the s— he deserved. Silva shows what kind of man he really is – a s—-talking coward.

    • Seth

      So awesome to see some smart guys around 🙂 I almost lost faith in humanity 🙂 +1 for you, bro! 😀

  • Baller31

    What a whiny douchebag, trying to put a spin on the fact that he’s retiring because he’s a cheater and ran from a drug test

  • TheCerealKiller


  • julian moran

    Drugs issues aside, Wanderlei is not the only fighter (Couture, Ortiz, Rampage, GSP…) who complained about how the UFC treats it’s fighters.

    • Mark McDowall

      I agree with you that he isn’t the only fighter that has talked garbage about the UFC’s pay etc. But I’ve heard that exact same story at every job I’ve ever worked at and now that I’m a business owner I hear it from some of my employees.

      Nobody gets paid what they think they are worth. And look at the fighters you mentioned, with the exception of GSP, they are all has been fighters that you never saw complaining when they were at the top of the pile. It’s only after they have been on the downward spiral of their career that they are coming out saying that they aren’t getting paid enough.

      Tito-1-7-1 in the last 6 years in the UFC.

      Rampage 4-5 in his last 9 fights in the UFC, including missing weight and a joy ride in his pickup when he was wacked out of his mind and hit a car with a pregnant lady driving it…that Dana and the UFC helped him through on their dime BTW.

      Wand 4-5 in his latest UFC run. Including him running out the back door when asked to take a drug test.

      These aren’t records/actions of fighters who warrant top money and treatment…he may have a valid point that HE wasn’t treated greatly, but he’s a has been. Look at guys like Joe Louzan…Cowboy Cerrone etc. They aren’t top level guys but they bust their asses and let their fights do the talking…and look at any interview where this type of subject comes up and they can’t say enough good things about the UFC.

      • George Clooney


        Rampage was reluctant to join the UFC until Zuffa bought out the WFA. The UFC offered him good contracts when he fought with PRIDE, but he constantly refused, stating how “They don’t let fighters bring the sponsors they want.” Rampage at the time was sponsored by Rockstar, and the UFC was trying to work with Xenergy, which failed.

        Randy Couture retired twice from the UFC. He left in 2001 after beating Kevin Randleman, then came back and nearly left again. The only reason why he came back was to cash in on the good media deals the UFC had at the time.

        BJ Penn won the UFC belt in 2004 and left to pursue better fighting opportunities. He didn’t come back until 2006, when he was guaranteed to be paid a good amount of what the UFC has been earning.

        All the best fighters have either refused to enter the UFC or have left the UFC because they treat their fighters like s—. They make them employees and force them to kiss their ass and suck their d— to succeed. The executives of the UFC pick and choose who they like and who they don’t like, and make it hard for other fighters to compete because some just don’t have the ability to kiss ass and brown nose.

        You have to remember this is supposed to be fighting and not a job. You can have employees complain all they want but the fighters are the ones who put their lives on the line, not the promotion.

  • Brent

    Wanderlei you may be right about the UFC payscale, however, the Barao fought too much too soon / weight cutting argument has no merit. You’ve been exposed as a fraud. Ba-Bye.

  • Seth

    Nananana Nananana Hey Hey Hey Goodbye!

    Time to join your buddies Fedor and Cro Cop in pro wrestling business, bi-a-tch.

    Wait…Nope, he can’t. You have to at least be able to speak to make it there. So I guess he has no more career choices. So sad.

    • TheCerealKiller

      But he’s still under UFC contract, lol!

      • Seth

        Well, I guess not for long. And as I wrote, he will be with Bellator soon for sure. He fits them perfectly – he’s bashing UFC, he’s waaaaaaaaaaaay past his prime, he is irrelevantin today’s MMA…perfect headliner for their PPV, isn’t he?

        • TheCerealKiller

          I doubt Dana will let him out of his contract, just to be a Richard. Personally, I would let him go to the UFC graveyard that is Bellatard.