“The money paid to the athletes is very little. How much does (the promotions) make? How much they generate? Those are things that are pissing off the fighters. Another thing that bothers me is that if someone wants to sponsor you, they have to pay $50,000 to the promotion before sponsoring you. But the money they pay the promotion stays there. It doesn’t go to the athlete. It’s an outrage. They have to pay (the UFC) to sponsor someone? They are taking money from the athletes.”
“And it looks like they want to get it away from the fighters, too. They want to put you on a uniform, create a white team and a yellow team. And what will the athlete get from this? This $4,000 they want to pay you to fight? It’s a robbery. They are making rivers of money, slandering us, so it’s time for us to rise and show the truth.
“(MMA) became a freak show. The promotions put fighters against each other, and they don’t want to pay anything to them. If you refuse to fight, the promoter shows up – and sometimes he wants to show off more than the fighters. This is a shame. He never gets slapped in the face and wants to show off more than the athletes, saying ‘you’re good. This one didn’t want to fight this one. He’s afraid.’ No, no one is afraid of anyone. Everybody who steps into a ring deserves respect, recognition, and we’re not getting it. And they want to throw our fans against us.
“He says things, and people buy it. ‘This guy is not the same anymore. He doesn’t want to fight this other guy.’ That’s not the case. They don’t want to pay. They pay you nothing. You ask for more, they say they don’t have it. How so? They have money, but they don’t want to pay. And then they say you’re afraid? It pisses me off.”
“They are the ones who go to the TV after the event, wanting to show off more than the athletes. At the end of the event, he’s there saying ‘You fought well. You haven’t, so you suck.’ Who are they to judge you? The athlete needs money to prepare for a fight and to perform well. How are you going to prepare well if you have to have another job to make money? If you have better performances, pay better.”
“There’s a monopoly over the sport right now. If you create a monopoly like that, you have to pay for it. You can’t use it to dominate the fighters, pay less money and criticize them later. We’re the ones who make the show. There’s no event without fighters. When we get united, we will see how we want things, and it will change. It’s going to be good for the sport. It still is too amateur. Most of the fighters don’t have a good education. When you get to the promotion, you can’t ask for more. You go there begging for the love of God for an opportunity, and they take advantage of you. They put you against who they want, pay how much they want and until you make a name for yourself, you’re treated like garbage.”
“Tell me five guys that are rich. Anderson (Silva) might be rich, (Georges) St. Pierre is rich, but who else? Nobody is making money with this sport. And they are filling their pockets with money. I’m not against it. If they do the event, I want them to make money. But you have to pay your employees. If you pay them like amateurs, you want them to perform like professionals?”
“I’m still under contract. They wanted me to sign a new one recently, but I said I didn’t want it. I want to terminate my contract. I won’t work for this organization anymore. I won’t fight for the UFC again.
“I’m not interested anymore. I won’t fight for them, and I won’t fight for anyone. (The UFC) didn’t treat me as I deserved. Not only me, but other fighters don’t want to talk. I can say it because I made good money in Japan, I was smart enough with my money, and I can say. I don’t depend on them for nothing.”
“I don’t need it (a Hall-Of-Fame induction). A Hall of Fame is made by the fans. I don’t want anything from this promotion. If they want to give me, I won’t accept. My Hall of Fame is my fans.”
“My family totally supported my decision. It’s a dangerous sport, you can get really hurt. God helped me, protected me so I wouldn’t have any damage, any serious injury. I want to know if the promotions that pay their fighters so poorly, will help them with anything in the future.”
“I have some issues that I don’t know if they will become issues. I have some things in my head, I forget things. I can’t turn my head a lot or my brain crashes. I have back and wrist pain. … This is a result of my ‘extreme’ fighting style, more ‘kamizake.’”
“The punishment they gave (Sonnen) was unfair. We don’t know what’s behind this commission because at the same hearing they punished Sonnen they cleared (Vitor Belfort), who tested positive for high levels of testosterone in February, to fight for the title in December. Both had a history. The same case. One is banned, the other one is cleared to fight.”
“We have to know who’s regulating this commission, who controls it, because it looks like a circus. They do what they want, and where are we going to complain about it? Nobody knows who controls the commission. They don’t respect their own laws. It’s complicated. Nobody knows what’s going on, who’s in charge, and who’s behind it.
“You can’t punish one and don’t punish the other. You punish all of them, or you don’t punish at all. And in the UFC, this guy said he was a big friend of (Sonnen) but let him go from the TV. Released him. And wanted to stop him from competing in a jiu-jitsu match. So he can’t work anymore? Who will pay his bills? Are they going to help him? They won’t. They use us, do whatever they want, and then kick our butt. It will end.”
In a recent interview with Brazil’s Combate.com, Wanderlei Silva dives deep on his recent lifetime ban from MMA, his thoughts on the UFC and more!