Wanderlei Silva retired last week, claiming his grievances with the UFC had taken away his desire to fight, but Dana White believes that the 38 year-old was just using that as a way to cover up the real reason he was hanging up his gloves.
“I think he was trying to put up a smoke screen,” White said on UFC.com. “Look over here because he does it a few days before he’s about to go in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The guy ran from a drug test. I’ve been saying it for a long time that he was going to get something serious.”
As it turned out, Silva was handed a lifetime ban from fighting in Nevada earlier this week by NSAC, and White admits he didn’t realize it was going to be quite that severe.
“I didn’t see a lifetime ban coming, but probably the worst thing you can do is run from a drug test. You can’t run from a drug test.”
White claims that neither he nor Lorenzo Fertitta has had a bad word to say about Silva, but nonetheless the fighter himself still appears to be angry with the promotion that he first fought for all the way back in 1998 and has called ‘home’ for the past seven years.
“I don’t feel the need of being in that [UFC] Hall of Fame,” Silva told combate.com. “The fans do the Hall of Fame. From this organization (UFC), I want nothing more. If they put me there, I don’t accept. My Hall of Fame are my fans. I’m stronger than I ever was, I have never had so much support.”
Meanwhile, UFC color commentator Joe Rogan has expressed his surprise at the sentence handed down to Silva for fleeing the random drugs test back in May.
“I just think the penalty is way over the top,” Rogan said yesterday on Joey Diaz’s ‘Church Of What’s Happening Now podcast. “It’s one thing if you want to tell the guy he’s suspended for a year. Pretend as if you caught him for using steroids. If he got caught and it was his first time being caught it would be a nine month suspension. Instead of doing that they prohibit him from fighting for a f**king life. A whole life. He can’t be 80 and apply for a license for running from one drug test? I think that’s ridiculous.”
Silva currently plans to appeal the decision which also left him facing a $70,000 fine.