Yesterday the UFC announced they were fining their #1 P4P fighter Anderson Silva 50 grand for skipping out on promotional duties.
“We had a full media day set up for him in Los Angeles, and he just decided he didn’t want to do it, so he’s being fined $50,000,” UFC President Dana White told USA TODAY Sports. “He doesn’t like talking to the media, but it’s part of his contractual obligation,” White said. “Everybody wants more money, more money, more money, but nobody wants to sell the fight or go out and talk to the media. Talking to the media is part of your job, whether you like it or not.”
Anderson, who can be seen at one point in his documentary movie ‘Like Water’ throwing a temper tantrum over media responsibilities, had this to say:
On Tuesday, Silva told Brazilian media outlet Veja that he was unaware of his media obligations, blaming his absence on a “miscommunication” which he refused to specify.
“I never missed any commitment to the UFC (in the past),” Silva said (roughly translated via Google Translate). “[I'd] never plan a trip to Brazil if I knew I should be in Los Angeles. Everyone knows that I always lock my media schedule to devote myself to training, they are my priority. I am an athlete and my focus will always be to train and be prepared for the challenges.”
That’s a twofer of an excuse – 1. I didn’t know about it and 2. I’m an athlete and training comes first. The UFC obviously doesn’t believe the first one, otherwise they’d be firing whoever was supposed to have let Silva’s camp know about the UFC 162 media day instead of fining their biggest star. As for the second part, well … it’s a fine excuse and you can definitely accuse the UFC of lining up way too many media appearances for fighters nowadays. But this was basically the media launch for UFC 162, so skipping it is pretty weak.
Hence the $50,000 fine from the UFC, which isn’t much considering Anderson Silva is making millions per fight but carries its own twofer – 1. No one is above doing media duties and 2. The UFC will hit you financially if you try to dodge them. Good statements for the UFC to make now before the era of primadonna fighters really takes off.
(pic via Eric Bolte for USA Today)