Former longtime middleweight champion Anderson Silva is without question one of the best fighters of all-time and many many argue that he is indeed the greatest fighter to ever grace the Octagon. His UFC 112 (April 10, 2010) title defense over Demian Maia in Abu Dhabi, however, didn’t show this. In fact, it was arguably the worst performance of Silva’s lengthy title reign, as he elected to taunt Maia and avoid engaging in the fight, which left the fans feeling short changed.
In addition, White was furious with how the fight played out. In fact, he even went as far as to say that he would cut Silva if the Brazilian performed that way in his next title defense, which was against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117:
“Personally I think he was embarrassed by what he did that night,” White told ESPN’s Jim Rome Is Burning (Via MMAFighting.com) back in 2010. “Maybe he had a mental breakdown — I don’t know what happened in the ring. All I can say is I know his next opponent isn’t going to be a guy who’s going to lay back. Chael Sonnen is going to take it to him, and hopefully we never see that again. If we do, I’ll tell you this: If he ever acts like that again in the ring, I will cut him. I don’t care if he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, I don’t care if he is the middleweight champion. I will cut him, absolutely.”
Now, clearly Silva’s actions in his fight with Maia were unacceptable, but White certainly could’ve handled the situation a bit differently if he was that bothered by it. Threatening to cut arguably the best fighter of all-time in public could be considered a bit extreme.