Days before he was supposed to appear before the Nevada Athletic Commission to face disciplinary action for evading a random drug test prior to his then-scheduled UFC 175 match up against Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva released a video announcing his retirement. UFC president Dana White believes the video and retirement was nothing more than a diversionary tactic by the Brazilian fighting legend.
“I think he was trying to put up a smoke screen. Look over here because he does it a few days before he’s about to go in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission,” White said in and interview with UFC.com. “The guy ran from a drug test. … I’ve been saying it for a long time that he was going to get something serious.”
Silva received the harshest of penalties, a lifelong ban by the NAC. While White has stated that he thought Silva would receive a stiff penalty, he never imagined that a lifetime ban would be levied against the former Pride champion.
“I didn’t see a lifetime ban coming, but probably the worst thing you can do is run from a drug test. You can’t run from a drug test,” White said.
In his retirement video (see video here), Silva went “Axe Murderer” on the UFC for the organization’s treatment of fighters.
“I feel that I don’t have a dignified stage where the athletes are respected. They (UFC) 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,” said the 39-fight mixed martial arts veteran. “Enough is enough. They don’t respect us as athletes. They don’t respect us at all.”
White said he has nothing but respect for Silva, and insists he’s never said a negative thing about him.
“I’ve never said a bad thing about Wanderlei Silva in my life,” said the UFC president. “I’ve always respected the guy and there is no way that guy can ever say that myself or Lorenzo Fertitta ever disrespected him. There’s nothing more that needs to be said.”