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Anderson Silva doesn’t want to fight Brazilians any more

Anderson the Artiste is at it again, shooting down future contenders because of this reason or that:

“I don’t think so,” Silva told Combate about the possibility of fighting Belfort again. “What was supposed to be done was done. Of course, we are employees of the UFC, but I don’t like to fight against Brazilians. I don’t see that possibility.”

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, a former Strikeforce champion, will probably never fight for the UFC title if Silva reclaims his gold at UFC 168.

“If I’m your friend, I’m your friend, and money or status won’t matter,” he said. “Honor is more worthy than life for me. ‘Jacare’ or another one, I wouldn’t like to fight a friend of mine. But that’s the thing. I’m in a position and I never had to take anything from anyone to get where I am today.”

Let’s not forget that Silva didn’t want to fight Chris Weidman either. In general he seems pretty unimpressed with the matchmaking he’s presented with – a legit complaint back when it was Patrick Cote and Thales Leites and James Irvin getting the call and still now when strange shit like Stephan Bonnar happens. But like it or not, Vitor Belfort is top dog at 185 after Silva and Weidman. If Jacare wins a few more, he’ll be in a similar position.

Fighters shouldn’t get to pick their opponents, and they certainly shouldn’t get to pick who they aren’t going to face. Champions should face all comers, something Silva has done. It’d just be nice if he wasn’t such a giant complainer about it.

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MMA Junkie has a fascinating in-depth feature on Joe Silva and Sean Shelby, two guys who aren’t really shady figures in the background but also don’t exactly roll the red carpet out for interviews and shit like that. The article goes in depth on how they split duties, how some head scratcher matches get made, and the less fun part of the job: firing fighters.

“I read an interview recently with a fighter talking about the depression that comes on after being cut,” Silva said. “It’s impossible to read that and not feel responsible, but the job dictates it. It’s not like we decided, this would be fun. It’s that this is the only way it can work. Nobody new can come in until somebody old goes. If you’re tired of seeing rematches, then you’ve got to clear space and bring in new people.”

The reason it has to work this way is, as Silva put it, “a simple math problem.” The math is the part that Shelby and Silva are always arguing with White about. When White declares that every member of a certain “Ultimate Fighter” cast will get a contract, for instance, or when he buys out a rival like Strikeforce, it’s the matchmakers who have to figure out how to deal with the influx of fighters.

“Dana’s Captain Kirk, and we’re Scotty,” Silva said. “Dana’s always asking for crazy, impossible stuff, and we’re going, ‘Captain, we can’t go any faster!’ He’s the one saying, ‘Dammit Scotty, make it happen!'”

You also get a little glimpse into what it’s like working for Dana White:

Continue after the Jump ››

Uriah Hall ‘is not a fighter’

If Dana White tells reporters you could be the next Anderson Silva, watch out. First it was Philippe Nover that not only failed to live up to those expectations, but isn’t even with the UFC any more. Now it looks like Uriah Hall is in a similar situation. Not only did he not win at Saturday’s event, he barely fought – or at least not with any violent intentions. If you were counting high fives and hugs as significant strikes, he might have gotten somewhere. Such as it is, he might be out of a job. Via ESPN:

“I love Uriah Hall,” White said. “I have a great relationship with this kid. He’s one of the nicest human beings you could ever meet; he’s not a fighter, man.

“If I could take [featherweight] Brad Pickett’s brain and heart and put it inside Uriah Hall’s body, there’d be some damage done. Uriah Hall has all the physical attributes to be amazing. He’s got speed. He’s got power. He’s just unbelievable. But he doesn’t have what it mentally takes to fight [in the UFC].

“I don’t know [whether Hall will be released]. I have to think about this one. I don’t like talking about stuff like that [at postfight Q&A sessions with media].”

It just goes to show you how fast your fortunes can change in a league like the UFC. It only took two fights for Hall to go from Dana’s next TUF golden boy to potential unemployment. On the plus side, maybe this is exactly what he needs – to go back to the minors and work all this shit out in his head. Either he’s got what it takes or Dana is right – he doesn’t want to be a fuckin fighter.

That Stupid Machida / Diaz fight is off

The UFC is typically pretty full of good ideas. A a company full of major superfans who get to do whatever they want in the sport, their interests typically line up with fan interest pretty evenly. Sure, some of Dana White’s ideas are dickish (Vitor vs teammate Rashad), but they’re still pretty cool. Most of the time. Last week White floated the idea of Nick Diaz vs Lyoto Machida and the internet voiced a collective ‘Whut?’ Now he agrees with that sentiment:

“That was a bad idea,” he said. “The Diaz-Machida thing I was—I’m going to throw Joe SIlva under the bus again. That was Joe Silva’s idea. It was a bad idea.” When asked if the decision to pull the fight off the the table was due to Diaz’s refusal to accept it, White made it clear that that wasn’t the case. “No,” he said. “Diaz didn’t turn it down. There’s other things going on with Diaz.”

Hopefully other things like other better fights and not other things like Diaz being a giant pain in the ass who won’t fight at all. Getting Diaz into the cage now that he’s a millionaire (“That’s like … a billion dollars dude” says stoner Diaz) is going to be like coaxing a fawn out of the woods with a carrot. Why waste one of those coaxings on a fight like Machida, where you know Machida would circle away for three rounds while Diaz would be stuck throwing some mean but ultimately ineffective double fingers? Never mind making Diaz – a welterweight – fight Lyoto – normally a light heavyweight – at middleweight.

If we’ve only got so many Diaz fights left, let’s use em up by crafting some guaranteed slobberknockers. We already know where Nick stands in the general listings – somewhere around the top five but not championship material so long as Georges sits atop the throne. The only interesting ‘relevant’ fight would be Condit. But there are a lot of FUN fights out there for Diaz. Machida ain’t one of them, but I’m sure Dana and Joe can figure something better out this time.

Ninja talks Shogun

Shogun Rua is gonna have to live with the ignominious distinction of being the first Brazilian to lose to Chael Sonnen. Don’t worry Chael, there’ll be others soon too, but for now that is a heavy cross to bear. Here’s Shogun’s brother Ninja (aka Murilo) talking about the loss:

“My brother needs someone, he needs a head coach who can listen to,” he said. “I always told him the truth no matter what, but I had issues with trainers from his camp. Maybe in the future I’ll work with him again, who knows. I’ll talk to him when he returns to Curitiba.”

“He has a lot of shady persons around him, people trying to take advantage of him,” he said. “People from his camp said I wasn’t good for Mauricio because I made him nervous when I was on his corner, and he listened to that, so I decided to leave. If something is wrong I would point it out, I wouldn’t just lie to please him.”

“My brother never went on a diet,” he said. “But I believe it’s hard for him to (fight at middleweight), he weighs around 230 pounds. I don’t know what he’s thinking for his future, I’ll talk to him when he gets back home.”

My take is that Shogun be Shogun, and sometimes that means you get the awesome focused warrior who will never stop coming forward and sometimes you get the listless sleepwalker who stumbles into a guillotine choke. It’s hard to keep that laser like dedication and determination for over a decade straight. Who knows if his brother in his corner would help or hinder. Maybe we just need to accept that Shogun isn’t the unstoppable force he was six years and a few surgeries ago. Depending on what night you run into him, that is.

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