Now 47 years old, Anderson Silva has been experiencing life away from MMA and the UFC by starting a late venture into boxing. In the same way, his fighting values are different today, greater. On October 29, the former UFC middleweight champion faces a duel in the noble art with youtuber Jake Paul, the same one who has beaten MMA names like Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren in the ring. Anderson Silva came out in defense of the movement that the brothers Jake and Logan Paul have made in the sport, mainly with criticism of the payments of fighters in the UFC.
– People like to criticize who is doing it. The kids opened up a very big question mark about combat sports like boxing and MMA. And it’s opening a lot of people’s minds, opening a lot of people’s heads that are stuck in contracts and situations. Why don’t you own your pass? Why can’t you do what you want and what will make you happy? Which will bring you benefits outside the environment you are used to being. The kids are doing their job and doing a good job – said Anderson Silva in an exclusive interview with Combat.
+ Anderson Silva suggests MMA fight between Jake Paul and Dana White
The relationship between Anderson Silva and Dana White in the UFC had several moments of conflict — Photo: Evelyn Rodrigues
Jake Paul himself in recent interviews promoting the fight with the Brazilian said he believes that Anderson Silva will have his biggest payout in his career in this next duel. Spider received at UFC 208, in 2017, when he beat Derek Brunson, a purse of US$ 820,000, the biggest of his career – without taking into account participation in the pay-per-view, as with champions. As a benchmark, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley received around $2 million in his last fight with Jake Paul.
– It is necessary that, first of all, people understand how the machine works. Then, after that, the fighters have to have the courage to unite and the ability to understand their value within the market. And each of them do their best so that they are united and fight for what is best for them. There’s no way for a guy to just fight (…). (Sometimes) someone comes and says: “come on, I’m going to pay you 30 million; come on, I’m going to pay you 50 million; come on, I’m going to pay you five times more than you won in a fight in the UFC”. It’s very easy for you to say that when you don’t have a signed contract, when you don’t have someone representing you. There’s no way to come and say: “ah, the UFC is doing this… In the MMA community, promoters do everything wrong.” People need to unite, athletes need to unite, athletes need to review their managers, review their marketing team, your business team, to reach a consensus all together and get what they want. It’s no use complaining that (boxer) Tyson Fury made I don’t know how many billions and the MMA heavyweight didn’t make 1% or 0 .1% You have to fight first, you have to prepare yourself first, the MMA community is not prepared for this.
+ Sonnen sees deep affinity with Anderson: “When his career ends, mine ends”
Jake Paul and Anderson Silva have a boxing match on October 29 in Glendale, Arizona – Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Anderson believes that a turning point in his career was his relationship with the sports marketing company owned by former player Ronaldo Fenômeno. And after everything he’s learned throughout his career, Anderson has been putting what he’s learned into practice after having “got a gift” with the end of his UFC contract.
– I was in the same situation for a long time and it took time for things to happen. And when things happened, they started way back when I had the opportunity to work with Nine. Things were changing and I started to understand my value. And then I had the opportunity to leave the UFC, which was a gift that I got to have left the UFC, to have left the contract (…). It was a great learning experience knowing what to do and what not to do. What am I supposed to do here? Now I am master of my destiny, the letter of manumission has been signed, what do I have to do now? What is wrong and what is right? How is Anderson’s image as a brand? How is Anderson’s image as an athlete? How is Anderson’s image outside of fights? Let’s organize this. What do you need? I need the right people and I can’t be afraid, like those things that have a lot with MMA athletes and in other sports too: the guy doesn’t want to spend to do the right thing and then he ends up spending a lot more up front. I managed to open my mind to that and I have a team that is super professional.
After the aforementioned victory of Anderson Silva against Derek Brunson, the Brazilian lost three in a row and ended his relationship with the UFC with the end of his contract. In MMA, he has 34 wins, 11 losses and a “no contest”. Spider was middleweight champion from October 2006, when he knocked out Rich Franklin, until July 2013, when he was knocked out by Chris Weidman. After leaving the UFC, Anderson took up boxing and beat Julio César Chávez Jr. and Tito Ortiz, in addition to having an exhibition match with Bruno Caveira.
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