Iron sharpens iron in mixed martial arts (MMA), and many fighters forge unbreakable bonds with their current and former training partners who they have shared blood, sweat, and tears with on a daily basis in the pursuit of excellence.
However, it would be wishful thinking to believe that this is always the case.
In this article, we’ll look at what happens when friendships fracture, team loyalty falls by the wayside, and full-blown feuds form between fighters who have fought in the UFC, leading to dirty laundry being aired in public and, in some cases, scores being settled the old-fashioned way in the Octagon.
10. Antonio Silva vs. Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva didn’t exactly leave the American Top Team (ATT) camp good terms in 2012, claiming he had wasted three of his years at the gym, and one former teammate who was only too happy to see him leave was fellow Brazilian Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva.
Months later ‘Bigfoot’ called out his “mentally sick” ex-training partner to fight him in the Octagon, revealing that they had once been close friends until Thiago “stabbed me in the back and cheated me.”
’Bigfoot’ didn’t go into specifics, but denied it was due to his rival’s departure from ATT.
For his part, Thiago claimed that ‘Bigfoot’ was simply “mad” and “jealous” due to the fact he was the better fighter and had had repeatedly beat him up in training.
However, the 205-pound Silva wasn’t willing to back that up by fighting the 265-pound ‘Bigfoot’ at heavyweight and insisted they meet at a 220-pound catchweight instead.
’Bigfoot’ labeled him a coward, but said he’d consult with his doctor about whether the weight cut was viable.
The fight never materialized though, with Thiago being released by the UFC the following year after repeated allegations of domestic abuse by his estranged wife came to light.