As Anderson Silva gets set for what he says will be the final fight of his career, the former middleweight champion is feeling like things just aren’t what they used to be.
Speaking with MMA Junkie, Silva said things in the UFC are no longer what they used to be. Silva (34-10 MMA, 17-6 UFC) has been fighting for the promotion since 2006 and has experienced major changes first hand. The Brazilian has seen a new generation of fighters take over the company, the global expansion the UFC keeps pushing, and the $4 billion sale from brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta to Endeavor in 2016.
“I think the UFC changed for me when Lorenzo came out,” Silva told MMA Junkie. “Lorenzo tried to put inside the UFC the big family, and right now it’s completely different, but I continue to fight inside the UFC because I have a lot of friends, and I feel the same family. But, yeah, of course it’s changed a lot when Lorenzo is not inside.”
Silva, 45, is still passionate about his fighting career, but he believes the relationship Endeavor has with its fighters is not as personal as the one the Fertitta brothers maintained.
“I think Lorenzo and the Fertitta brothers, who (were) the owners of the UFC, the relationship with fighters was more close, especially for me,” Silva said. “I love Dana (White), but Lorenzo and his brother (were) very close to the fighters and tried to make the UFC fighters part of the UFC family.”
Silva returns to the octagon this Saturday in the UFC on ESPN+ 39 headliner against Uriah Hall, in what is expected to be his retirement fight. Silva is 1-4 in his past five UFC bouts. He last fought in May 2019, losing by first-round TKO to Jared Cannonier.