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Dana White Claims UFC Paid Wanderlei $9.7 Million and Faked Injury to Duck Chael Sonnen, Silva Calls Him Liar

Written by Tom Ngo
September 27th, 2014
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UFC Middleweight Wanderlei Silva

The ongoing soap opera between UFC president Dana White and Wanderlei Silva (pictured) just keeps getting better and better. Just minutes before the curtain was drawn on UFC 178, one of the promotion’s deepest fight cards of the year, Silva took to Twitter to blast his former boss. 

Silva retired from MMA nearly two weeks ago, and bashed the UFC on his way out. “The Axe Murderer” claimed the organization disrespected him after he ran from May’s random drug test, turned his fans against him and that he and his fellow fighters are overworked and underpaid while the UFC pockets “rivers of money.”

White addressed Silva’s salary dispute in Friday’s interview with Brazilian website Combate where he said Silva was paid handsomely for the little work he did since rejoining the UFC in December 2007.

“Wanderlei Silva fought six times in the last five years. If overwork is to fight once a year, so I do not know what to tell you,” White said (via Google Translate). “You know how much money Wanderlei won since he started fighting in the UFC? He earned $9.7 million. He says everyone is getting rich except the fighters, then what does he consider rich?”

It didn’t take Silva long to catch wind of White’s claims. And let’s just say, he thinks White’s pants should be on fire.

“Liar !!!! Prove wanna see !!!” Silva tweeted (via Google Translate).

Technically, Silva fought nine times for the UFC since his return:

UFC 79: $150,000 ($50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
UFC 84: $150,000 (no win bonus)
UFC 92: $200,000
UFC 99: Germany ($50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
UFC 110: Sydney
UFC 132: $200,000
UFC 139: $200,000 (no win bonus) ($70,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
UFC 147: Brazil ($65,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
UFC on Fuel TV 8: Japan ($50,000 Fight of the Night and $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonuses)

Silva’s salary was not disclosed for four of his bouts because they took place overseas. However, let’s assume he was pocketing a flat $200,000 payday because that’s what he was receiving after his first two scraps. That means he made $1,700,000 in disclosed salary, plus another $335,000 in Fight Night bonuses.

Therefore, Silva made a reported $2,035,000. Silva could have also received some pay-per-view bonuses and some of the UFC’s top secret discretionary bonuses, but that would mean those paychecks would have to tally another $7,665,000 in order to hit White’s $9.7 million mark.

I find that hard to believe.

White also accused Silva of manufacturing an injury to delay his fight with Chael Sonnen. So, it’s also possible Silva could be calling White a liar regarding this matter.

“When we offered him the fight, he said he was hurt,” said White. “We sent him to a doctor two different times, and the doctor said, ‘This man is not hurt. There’s nothing wrong with him.'”

White should be holding a post-fight scrum following tonight’s UFC 178 event. Let’s see if he’ll address Silva’s latest accusation.

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