by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Anderson Silva’s performance at UFC 112 on Saturday night may have earned him a victory, but it didn’t gain him many fans as the crowd in Abu Dhabi voiced its displeasure and chanted not only his opponent’s name, but also that of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who happened to be cageside for the fight.
One person in particular who was disgusted with Silva’s antics was UFC president Dana White, who got up during the fourth round of the fight and left admitting he could no longer watch the performance going on in the Octagon.
“I’ll answer the questions about what a disgrace the main event was and what an embarrassment it is,” said White at the post-fight press conference. “I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed in the 10 years being in this business. It’s the first time I’ve walked out during a main event and given the belt to a guy’s manager and told him to put it on him.”
Coming to Abu Dhabi for the first time, along with their new business partners at Flash Entertainment, the UFC was hopeful for a great event to showcase the sport at its highest level. While Silva looked solid early on, punishing Maia with an array of strikes, the later rounds took on a whole other life.
Almost refusing to engage, nearly having a point taken away by referee Dan Mirgliatta at one point, Silva circled and threw random shots at Maia, but simply bounced around for the better part of two rounds, much to the disapproval of the UFC president and the fans in attendance.
White vowed to make it up to the fans that paid for the show.
“The was an historic fight for us. The arena tonight was incredible. The energy was amazing. And to end it the way that we did was an embarrassment for me, the Fertittas, the UFC, and the sport in general, so I apologize,” White said. “And I will, I don’t know how yet, but I will make this up to the fans that bought this (expletive) tonight.”
Even though Silva was dominant early on, hitting Maia with several big shots, including a knee strike that quite possibly broke the submission specialist’s nose, White didn’t appreciate the games that the champion played all night long.
“I didn’t like it from the first minute of the first round,” said White. “Nobody has been more supportive of Anderson Silva than me, talking about him being the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, etc., etc. Even after a couple of goofy performances, I still stood behind him and supported him. I still think this guy is incredibly talented.
“If you’re that talented, be Mike Tyson. Go in there and finish it in two minutes. I’d rather have somebody say let’s not buy the Anderson Silva fight tonight because he knocks people out in two minutes other than he runs around like a jackass for five rounds.”
Because of the lackluster performance, White went so far as to say that Silva could be the first champion in UFC history to be relegated to a preliminary fight, and although that’s not likely to happen, that’s how upset the UFC president was on Saturday night.
It remains to be seen what’s next for Silva. A title defense against either his original opponent for UFC 112, Vitor Belfort, or a fighter that has called out Silva and earned his spot as the top contender in the division in Chael Sonnen, could be next.
But it might be a while before Dana White is ready to see Anderson Silva on a pay-per-view again after Saturday though.