Wanderlei Silva has been actively crusading against the UFC in recent months, but he broke new ground in a series of posts on Facebook yesterday (h/t to MMAJunkie.com for translating). While the topics were wide-ranging, and included the UFC’s recently implemented uniform policy and their alleged firing of longtime cutman Joseph “Stitch” Duran, the highlight was his claim that the UFC fixed fights and that he had proof.
“They have no respect for anyone. I’ve made it very clear to you all that I will never again fight for this promotion, the U.F. Circus,” he said (via MMAJunkie.com). “Fixed fights, and I can prove it! I haven’t yet dropped the bomb. I haven’t said everything I know!”
Fixed fights are undeniably a part of MMA history. Longtime referee John McCarthy accused Oleg Taktarov and Don Frye of benefiting from thrown fights in the UFC’s early days in his autobiography Let’s Get it On (h/t ProMMANow.com), and Mark Coleman came just shy of admitting (Warning: NSFW Language) to throwing a 1999 bout with Nobuhiko Takada at Pride 5 in a 2010 interview with Jonathan Snowden (at the time with Heavy.com).
Fake fights !! We will gonna be wwe, this is finish the line , I am so sad!
— Wanderlei Silva (@wandfc) July 13, 2015
That said, Silva’s claims are not necessarily well-founded. The Pride legend took thinly veiled shots at the veracity of UFC fights on Twitter following Conor McGregor’s UFC 189 win over Chad Mendes. That fight did not follow the traditional formula of a worked MMA bout (which involves a quick, obvious submission), as it ended with a brutal knockout win for McGregor. Not only that, but it is just the latest (and most inflammatory) installment in a yearlong social media crusade (Warning: some videos contain NSFW language) against the UFC.
Fixing fights can result in financial ruin and jail time, making it generally unwise to steer a fight’s outcome. Not only that, but it would do very little for the UFC in particular, as the promotion typically pushes its own brand before that of the individual fighters who may be competing.
Still, Silva doubled down in his second post on Facebook.
This will not stand! Some have tried to buy me, but I am not, nor have I ever been for sale. And I will fight to the end, to unmask these promoters, who are deceiving the public, cheating, and taking the dignity and the honor from our sport! This is turning a pro-wrestling show with fixed fights. We have to stop these guys because that’s the end of the line for us!
The UFC may or may not decide to issue a statement regarding Silva’s claims. Keep an eye on Bleacher Report for updates on the story, should they surface.
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