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Dana White says Anderson Silva ‘should never fight again,’ laments letting him compete again

LAS VEGAS – If Anderson Silva opts against retirement after UFC on ESPN+ 39, his fighting future will come outside the octagon.

UFC president Dana White said that after Silva (34-11 MMA, 17-7 UFC) suffered a fourth-round TKO loss to Uriah Hall (16-9 MMA, 9-7 UFC) in Saturday’s headliner that his UFC career is definitively over. And in fact, he regrets allowing Silva even step in the octagon.

“He fought a guy that has absolutely zero output,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, post-fight at UFC on ESPN+ 39. “They’re in a five-round main event on ESPN and they threw (expletive) 11 punches in the second round. You fight any of these other savages, he’ll be in big trouble, and he’ll take a (expletive)load of punishment. Uriah Hall threw 11 punches in the second round. Uriah Hall is one of the most gun-shy fighters in the UFC.

“And look at Anderson. When the fight was over, he couldn’t even stand up to do his interview. He had to sit down and do an interview. I made a big mistake and I shouldn’t have let him fight this fight tonight. He’s a legend of this sport and he’s a legend of this company, and I did something I disagreed with. I knew I was right, and tonight proved I was right, and Anderson Silva should never fight again.”

White expressed frustration with Silva’s pre-fight interview with MMA Junkie in which he said he thought the UFC has lost its “family” feel over the years. That disappointed White, who said he’s treated the likely future UFC Hall of Famer particularly well, even letting him take the fight with Hall when he thought he shouldn’t have.

“So, let me start here: It used to be a family when Lorenzo (Fertitta) was here and all that kind of stuff,” White said. “We all miss Lorenzo, and I will always admit that Lorenzo was always the kinder, gentler side of the UFC. But I’ve done nothing but be good to Anderson Silva, and tonight I don’t feel good about myself that I let Anderson Silva fight out this last fight. We’ve treated Anderson Silva with nothing but respect, and if you guys knew what Anderson Silva gets paid to fight, you’d (expletive) your (expletive) (expletive) pants. So, I think that we’ve treated him like family. I shouldn’t have let him fight this fight tonight.”

White confirmed Silva has one fight remaining on his UFC contract after UFC on ESPN+ 39, but it won’t happen, he said. If Silva insists on continuing, White indicated he’d allow “The Spider” out of his contract to compete for another organization. He said it would be a “scumbag” move to for anyone to pick him up, but he hopes cooler heads prevail.

“I’m not trying to prevent him from doing anything,” White said. “He’s a grown man and he can do what he wants, and he’s got one fight left with us. I’ll never let him fight here again. I want him to retire. And what I hope is when he goes home his family, he tells him that same thing.

“I’m in a really hard position right now because this is a guy I care about and this is a guy that’s been here for a long time and is a legend of his company, and I don’t want to sit here and (expletive) on him. But he’s almost 46 years old. Unless you’re trying to defend your (expletive) life or save your family, no one at 46 should be fighting.”

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