Anderson Silva has weighed in on the issue of UFC fighter pay, defending his former employers and Dana White.
The promotion have come in for plenty of criticism in the past couple of years especially, with athletes wanting more money for their endeavors.
But 47-year-old Silva, who is now preparing to fight Jake Paul in a boxing match having left the UFC in 2020, thinks fighters need to take greater responsibility for their actions and can blame managers, rather than the UFC for any shortfall in wages.
He told the MMA Hour: ‘It’s two things, Jake and his brother [Logan] tried to bring attention to something very important. On the other side, when you come to UFC, you have your manager, you have your team, and you need to take care of your business, correct?
‘Your manager, your lawyer, and your team need to take care of this part of business, because you don’t have time to focus on that.
‘My personal opinion, of course the UFC can pay the fighters better. Especially a couple of fighters doing something very, very incredible inside UFC and make the UFC name strong and powerful. Make more [respect] for the brand.
‘But everything is about, talk to your manager, have a good thing behind you to protect you, so you don’t sign something you don’t like in the future.
‘A lot of very talented fighters sign something very crazy because the manager doesn’t take care of the fighters. It’s only about numbers and money, and that’s the problem.’
Silva did have one bone of contention with White, saying he feels it is not the president’s job to criticise fighters for their performances, when he is unqualified to do so having never competed in MMA.
He went on: ‘My problem with Dana is [when he] talks about fights because Dana has never fought MMA in his life. That’s my problem, when he talks about, ‘You can’t do that, can’t do that, you don’t fight correctly.’
‘No, no, no, that’s my only problem with Dana. I think Dana is a good person. Everybody talks about Dana, “He’s not good, blah blah blah.” He’s a good person, but he’s a businessman.
‘UFC doesn’t get to this point now as a big, big company in the world if the people think, “I did something, I’m sorry fighters, I did something incorrect.” No, the company grew up because of hustlers doing something and that’s the game. You’re inside or not. You can sign or not sign.’
Silva is a UFC legend and regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time. His slide out of the organisation was undignified, winning just one of his last nine fights.
But the Brazilian has since added another chapter to his career, beating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Tito Ortiz in the boxing ring to set up his clash with Paul.