UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva has drawn the ire of the MMA community for his lackluster and disrespectful performance against Demain Maia at UFC 112 yesterday. Silva acknowledged his performance during his post-fight interview, blaming his actions on a lack of humility.
“I apologize, I don’t know what got into me tonight, I wasn’t as humble tonight as I should have been,” Silva said, translated through manager Ed Soares. “It was just the ring rust and a little bit of everything . I’m really sorry to all you guys, I don’t know what got into me and I can promise you that it won’t happen next time.”
Silva spent the first two rounds taunting opponent Demain Maia in Portugese, but would back up the taunts with his fluid movements and bursts of offense. When Silva was engaging, he seemed to be channeling Muhammad Ali with his graceful strikes and head movement. However, in the third round, Silva decided to channel Kalib Starnes instead, spending the next 15 minutes backpedaling and posturing. Silva’s antics even frustrated referee Dan Mirgliotta, who warned him in the fifth round that he would deduct a point if he continued to keep up his charade.
Silva went on to do an about-face, and defended his performance at the UFC 112 post-fight press conference.
“The way I feel is my mission is completed,” said Silva. “I came in and dominated the fight and did what I had to do, that’s how I feel.”
Maia told Fighter’s Only Magazine that he was “sworn at and disrespected” by Silva during the fight, but declined to give specifics as to what exactly Silva said. Silva noted that he felt disrespected by Maia before the fight, but also didn’t give any specifics.
“I came here well-trained, but Demian disrespected me,” Silva said. “Not as a person, but disrespected me as a fighter, and I take that very seriously. I came here to do my job and that was to beat him up and punish him and that’s exactly what I did. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out, and everyone wasn’t pleased, but that’s what I came here to do was punish him.
“I’m a black belt, and I’ve never stepped into the ring and disrespected anyone verbally before the fight and said things that he said.”
The explanation was not enough for UFC President Dana White, who apologized for the fight and said that he planned on making it up to the fans.
“He [Silva] feels that he doesn’t owe the fans an apology,” White told Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com. “Yet, I’m apologizing. I didn’t go in an fight like a jackass for five rounds. I didn’t do what he did tonight, but I’m embarrassed.
“I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I’m going to pay the fans back,” he stated. “I will make it up to the fans.”