The Anderson Silva fight wasn’t fixed. Why would it be? Who benefits from Anderson Silva losing? To the point where Andy taking a dive is a legit possibility, anyways. Silva was on the verge of finally getting one of those big superfights with either GSP or Jon Jones, each probably worth somewhere around 30 million bucks for the Spider. The fights are so huge it wouldn’t be all that surprising to hear the fighters would have earned a small but still very lucrative single digit % ownership stake in the UFC. To give you an idea of what that’s worth, consider this: Flash Entertainment, owned by Abu Dhabi Sheik Tahnoon bin Zayed al Nahyan, bought their 10% ownership stake for what was rumored to be a 9 digit figure.
So that rumor of a suspicious million dollar bet placed on Weidman just before he faced Silva? Not very convincing to me, even if it were true. Other than that, what other evidence is there? Anderson’s clowning? His standard modus operadi, really.
But that’s not to say the sport is 100% clean and fixes have never happened. Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Snowden goes through the shady history of MMA and digs up several examples of fixed fights and fighter dives. Unsurprisingly, most of these come from Japan:
“Mark Coleman Disgraces America.”
I say that after apparently throwing this fight to Japanese pro wrestling sensation Takada, Coleman is getting off easy.
Think I’m jumping the gun here? Not convinced it was a work? No less an authority than MMA Fightting’s Dave Meltzer was consulted on what the finish should be. And when I confronted Coleman about the fight, he didn’t deny the accusations.
“It was what it was,” Coleman said when I asked him about the fight for my book Shooters. “I needed to support my family. They guaranteed me another fight after that and I needed that security. It was what it was. I’m going to leave it at that.”
There were plenty of other fishy matches in Pride, but this is the only one I can make a definitive case for. Former star Gary Goodridge confirms, without naming names, that the list of fixed fights was extensive:
“Yes that type of stuff happened all the time in Pride. There are some pretty famous examples that the old fans all talk about. Chances are if you think it’s shady, it might have been. Naoya Ogawa’s camp offered me money to throw the fight but I didn’t want to sacrifice my integrity for a buck.”
Check out the rest, including one suspicious match involving contender of the hour Vitor Belfort, here.