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Dana White: Silva vs. Liddell “just not meant to happen”

Dave Meltzer has a post-UFC 76 show article available on and has an interesting quote from Dana White regarding the fate of the long-anticipated dream match between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva that is once again more fantasy than reality:

For now, what appeared to be the three biggest money matches, Jackson against Rua, Jackson against Liddell, or Liddell against Silva, look to be out the window. White had been attempting to put together Silva vs. Liddell for five years, and having recently signed Silva, had it planned for Dec. 29 if all went well.

“It’s just not meant to happen,” said White, who talked about a conversation with Silva as the fight was going on, and telling Silva that he thought Jardine was going to win the fight. He noted Silva was in complete denial, seeing huge dollar signs fly out the window.

Say it ain’t so Dana! C’mon, you have both fighters under contract in the same organization and you’re telling me that both men will see their careers end without having ever fought each other?

I’m sure Dana was in a crappy mood last night but the UFC can’t write off a Chuck vs. Wanderlei match as long as the two are still alive and breathing. As I said in a previous post, just make it happen for Dec. 29.

Ivan Trembow of made a good point in the comments area on 5 Oz. that both are in equal standing considering both are coming off consecutive losses.

You can still sell this match to the public, and here’s how you do it:

– Come out and say even though Chuck didn’t get it done, the match is being made as a token of appreciation to all the hardcore fans who have supported MMA over the years and have waited with baited breath for this match. Dec. 29 is only four days after Christmas so Dana can say that even though the timing isn’t the best, he’s making the match happen as his gift to the fans. Doesn’t that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

– You can still market it a little bit to the mainstream audience. Promote the match as both fighters being at the crossroads of their career and that just a year or so ago that they were at the top of the mountain. Sell the drama whichever of the two legends loses will in all likelihood have no choice but to retire. In reality, they don’t have to retire but hype it up that way and have both fighters say if they lose that they’re done. And in regard to the guy who loses, he can just come out of retirement in three months. Boxing has been pulling that stunt for years.

– Stack the card for Dec. 29! In addition to Liddell vs. Silva also have B.J. Penn vs. Joe Stevenson (in all likelihood for the lightweight title), Matt Serra vs. Matt Hughes for the welterweight title, and how about Rampage vs. Forrest Griffin for the light heavyweight title? Three title fights and a legends match. That’s going to be a huge buyrate regardless of the fact that Liddell and Silva are both coming off consecutive losses.

Meltzer also reported the following in the same column:

He also was very confident of signing Fedor Emelianenko, but felt it wouldn’t happen until after Emelianenko competes in a Russian sambo tournament in the fall. White said it was incorrect the story, claimed by Kurt Angle, that Brock Lesnar had signed with UFC. But he did hope to make the deal.

Not much for me to add. I just found it interesting.

  • Dan says:

    I agree. Wand-Chuck almost makes more sense now. Giving Chuck the chance to rebound from his rampage loss and not give wanderlei any warmup fights almost seemed unfair. Now they’re both in the same boat. Ufc XX: The Last Chance.

    On a side note. Almost strange no one has mentioned it. I wonder how big of an impact it had for shogun with the split up och chutebox. I certainly looked like he has had problems with his training. Or is he pulling a vitor belfort?

  • el boxeo says:

    i dont know why dana doesnt just do the silva v. liddel fight.. i mean isnt the ufc supposed to be promoting fights that fans wanna see and high action fights…

    liddel v. silva would be a war with two guys that dont go backwards…

    dana should take a note from boxing in this instance that if you have two money guys that are well known why not make the fight.. i mean does roy jones jr vs. tito trinidad really have any implications on 168lb or 175lb divisons in boxing…. no its just a fight that has two boxers with big fan bases fighting each other…

    so what if this fight dont lead to a shot at rampage… its still a good high profile fight..

    as far as stacking the card for dec. 29th .. it would sound good but i dont think dana is gonna shell out that much money to stack that card….

    dana must be pissed having all these high priced free agent acquistions flopping… i mean they couldve sold out most arenas without having to shell out couple hundred k for guys to lose…

    all you have to really do is show some of silva and chuck old fights to hype this fight….. it sells it self….

  • luke says:

    i agree….that would be a killer card.

  • ground and pound says:

    shogun vs liddell will happen now…mark my words.

  • LR says:

    Absolutely horrible decision by Dana White. He has to pit Liddell vs. Silva on December 29th, or it’s out the window and he ruined a great potential fight from happening. If he loses, Liddell can retire. If he wins, hell, that’ll get him going again. Stack the card, that’ll make his PPV goals, and he can still hype the Silva-Liddell fight for more buys.

  • Three title fights on a card would pretty much force anyone who gives a shit to buy the PPV.


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