Anderson Silva retained his middleweight championship at UFC 112, but he may have lost something more valuable: respect.
According to Yahoo Sports, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White threw Silva’s title belt toward the fighter’s manager at the end of the fourth round to express utter disgust with Silva’s performance against Demian Maia.
Silva danced around the ring making faces, ran in circles and acted like a general fool. His mocking behavior was considered a severe affront to the sport. The Ferrari World crowd, which paid a total of $3.5 million to see the bout — as well as the hundreds of thousands who paid to see it on pay-per-view — felt cheated.
White might have been most upset with the fighter's conduct, though, and said punishment would be handed down.
“I’ll answer the questions about what a disgrace the main event was and what an embarrassment it is,” White told the media at the postfight news conference. “I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed in 10 years of being in this business. It’s the first time I’ve ever walked out of a main event.”
Silva apologized in an interview with Joe Rogan, but the crowd of 11,008 was not convinced, chanting Maia’s name for the fifth round.
Silva won the fight by scores of 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46.
Silva declined to answer most questions about his buffoonery, but explained that he acted out because Maia disrespected him before the fight by threatening to break his arm.
“Unfortunately, not every fight turns out the way everyone would like,” Silva said through manager Ed Soares, who interpreted for the Brazilian. “I came here well-trained, but Demian disrespected me, not as a person, but he disrespected me as a fighter. I take that very seriously. I came here to do my job, which was to beat him up and punish him. That’s exactly what I did.”
But how long will Silva hold the title of pound-for-pound champion? He embarrassed the UFC brass in front of their new partners, an investment group in Abu Dhabi. And once fans turn on a fighter, they don’t always return.
Silva expressed interest in competing against 170-pound champion Georges St. Pierre as a welterweight, but he may have forfeited that opportunity.
“He doesn’t deserve to fight GSP,” White said.