Anderson Silva: UFC ‘completely terrible’ for blocking Georges St-Pierre from boxing

LOS ANGELES – Anderson Silva doesn’t think it’s right that the UFC flexed its contractual power over Georges St-Pierre to prevent a boxing match with Oscar De La Hoya.

“I think it doesn’t make sense, especially because Georges did a lot for the sport, especially for UFC,” Silva told MMA Junkie during a Wednesday media event. “Why you hold the guy? This makes no sense.”

Triller Fight Club head Ryan Kavanaugh came out this past week and declared his company had attempted to make former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion St-Pierre a lucrative offer to box against De La Hoya later this year. He claimed UFC president Dana White blocked the offer, citing the fact “Rush” is still under contract, despite the fact he’s retired from MMA and hasn’t competed since November 2017.

St-Pierre on Wednesday confirmed the claim and said he was disappointed a “dream” opportunity was taken away from him, despite understanding why it happened.

Interestingly enough, Silva, another former UFC champ who was at the height of his power at a similar time to St-Pierre, is preparing for a boxing match of his own against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on June 19. After losing to Uriah Hall in October, Silva was released from the final bout on his UFC contract, which allowed him the opportunity to pursue other ventures.

The UFC hasn’t afforded St-Pierre the same luxury, though, and unless the Canadian wants to challenge the company in court, he’s at their whim. That irks Silva, he said.

“Georges is a fighter,” Silva said. “You can’t hold a fighter. It’s the same if you take the lion in the jungle and put him inside a cage. The lion is going to die. You can’t do that. Nobody can do that. This makes no sense. This is terrible, terrible – completely terrible.”

Silva was one of the UFC’s biggest stars for years, but the end of his tenure with the promotion was unscrupulous, at best. He won one of his final nine octagon appearances and made comments to MMA Junkie about how the company was “completely different” since its 2016 sale, which received backlash from White.

It seems clear there’s some friction between Silva and his former promoter, and although he’s obviously biting his tongue to a degree, he said bluntly St-Pierre deserves better.

“First of all, I think when you do your job, especially fight in the level me and Georges do it, you need to respect,” Silva said. “Georges worked hard to make a lot of things for UFC. It makes no sense, Dana White holding Georges St-Pierre. I have my personal opinion about Dana, and I’m not anymore in UFC. I don’t like to talk about UFC because everything I do inside UFC is done for me. I do my best, I put in my heart in the company, but now it’s a page in my life that’s done.”