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Is UFC 84 do-or-die for Wanderlei Silva?

Some very intriguing audio from the UFC’s conference call this week to promote UFC 84 has surfaced on the Internet.

The audio, which can be heard by clicking here, consists of Canadian Press reporter Neil Davidson asking UFC president Dana White about the recent cuts made by the promotion.

“Is there an ongoing, sort of, pruning of your roster right now?,” Davidson began to ask. “There have been some fighters that have been let go; Travis Lutter, Joe Doerksen, (and) Jake O’Brien. How would you describe this? Is this business as usual or did you just get to the point where you had to reduce (the roster). Is there more change than normal?,” asked Davidson.

To which White responded:

“Yeah, no, it’s nothing abnormal at all. At the end the day, the UFC, like I say all the time, it’s the place where all of the best fighters in the world fight. After you lose a few, or whatever, you have to go back down and get some wins and come back.”

Later, White had some very vague yet ominous words about light heavyweight Wanderlei Silva.

“Wanderlei Silva obviously though has to get a win,” White stated. “I mean, this guy has to win some fights here to stay in the UFC.”

No, White didn’t say that Silva will be cut if he loses to Keith Jardine next Saturday in Las Vegas. However, he does have a six-figure guarantee and the UFC is indeed trimming its roster. Nothing is for certain, but if Silva doesn’t beat Jardine, would it be a shock if the UFC released him? If a fighter loses two consecutive fights, the UFC has the option to cut the contract. At the very least, I would think that the UFC would ask Silva to re-negotiate his current deal.

  • matt says:

    Problem is that the UFC can’t afford to have Wand fight someone like wilson goveia for a win, he is a name and needs to fight names.

  • Kelvin says:

    I agree…either they’ll renegotiate his current deal….or he’ll make the move down to MW…or both.

  • DPK says:

    There is no way he could stay at LHW after a loss, I would fully expect him to move down or be gone.

  • Jay says:

    The UFC f’d up this May card. It should be Ortiz-Silva and Jardine-Machida.

    It’s gonna suck when Machida beats Rampage for the title on New Years Eve.

  • JoeRoganIsAnAss says:

    You guys are brutal…

    We’re talking about one of the best 205 lb fighters of all time!
    This man has repeatedly taken steps up in not only competition but weight. That loss to Cro Cop was at HW, and he had no business even stepping into the ring that night with Henderson. Sick as a dog, but you know what people, he fought!

    You’re telling me that as stacked the LHW division is, with all the possiblities for UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva, that there’s just no more room for Silva?

    Sound’s like “Silly Season” to me Sam.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    JRIAA, have you been following the UFC at all recently? And did you even read the article and the comments here? Nobody is saying Silva can’t fight. Nobody is saying the UFC should let him go. The reality is that the UFC is making cuts, several of which have been high-profile. Technically Mirko Cro Cop wasn’t cut, but after two consecutive losses, it was made clear to him they weren’t going to pay him his guarantee any longer. In light of Dan White’s comments, which are a direct quote, Wanderlei Silva needs to win fights to remain in the UFC.

    There’s nothing silly to the story if you’ve been keeping up with what’s been going in.

  • Jackyl says:

    I agree with Rogan boy. Wanderlei has had ONE fight in the UFC since coming back, and that was a barn burner against Chuck Liddell. How can he be in danger of being cut? I’m sure it would depend on his performance but isn’t the UFC likely to cut a fighter that doesn’t perform vs a fighter that, despite losing, puts on a good show? Both of Cro Cop’s performances were very lackluster. No fire at all. I wouldn’t pay him his guarantee either after the Kongo fight. He made no effort to win that fight. Silva gave us a great fight against Liddell. If he puts in a good performance against Jardine, I don’t see him going anywhere. The LHW division is stacked enough that he could still have some meaningful fights. He could be a hell of a gatekeeper. It does seem like the UFC is having a problem with scheduling. Some of these fighters are only getting 1 or 2 fights a year. I really think they could take a page from the WWE and have a weekly show with lower tier fights that build up to the pay per view. This would give some exposure to the mid and lower tier guys while pushing the PPV events. I’m sure there are plenty of fighters the UFC could cut before cutting Wanderlei Silva.

  • slimm says:

    i believe White is attmepting to put “everyone” on notice that if he says that Wanderlei has to win a couple of fights to stay in the UFC…… the “lower teir” fighters would assume if White would let Wand go what about themselves, insentive for the not to go all Kalib Starnes~ish…..
    Wanderlei Silva is one who always has exciting fights always wether he is knocking people out in spectacular fashion or he himself is getting knocked out (Dan Henderson highlight reel, Cro~Cop ect), he (Silva) is 31-8 with a few draws and whatever i believe he has DESTROYED Rampage twice, and he has lost to three of the greatest fighters ever, it just so happens that those losses have come in a row….. Wanderlei is going no where except to the MW division w/l/d….. hell White cant let him go to Elite XC too…. Wanderlei always brings it and he quite possibly will destroy Jardine, even Wanderlei said the guys in LHW division are to big for him, he needs to move to MW and beat up someone there….. so if he has lost three in a row big deal atleast he lost to the best fighrers not some can he has always been exciting and White would be insane to let him go back to Japan or Affliction or Elite Xc….. move him to MW thats whats best imho

    p.s. that three fight stretch may be the toughest 3 fights for anyone….. the beloved Fedor (who is great) hasnt fought a 3 fight stretch like that in how long?¿? so give Wanderlei a break and realize there is no shame in losing to those particular 3guys, got off topic my apologies…..

  • Rich S. says:

    I really feel that Wandy WILL beat Jardine..
    if he lost.. i don’t think he would lose contract or anything.. i think he would move to MW [seeing as how i thought he was before the Jardine fight anyway]

    I mean,
    to throw away Wandy after two losses [in the UFC] to top ten UFC LHW’s would be stupid..
    Wandy’s one of the most exciting fighters around.. and.. They can use that to bring in even more money..

    I know Jardine loves to bang.. but better take this one to the ground..

  • slimm says:

    o and #4, i think Joe Silva made these fights right with a “little” help from Dana, Lyoto gets to prove he is for real (which we all know he is) by kicking the shit out of Tito plus Tito would be getting that beating out the door that Dana wants to see…. if Wand beats Tito to a bloody pulp awesome but what if its a great fight then the UFC would have to re~sign Tito just so they could put on Wand v Tito 3, plus if Lyoto wins and Jardine wins they can fight in Sept or Oct on the same card as Shogn v Liddell for the #1 contender blah blah, because if Liddell beats Shogun we will see Rampage (if he gets thru Forrest in July) v Liddell 3 NYE then the next in line would be winner of Lyoto v Jardine if ofcourse it all works out that way…. i think……

  • Patrick says:

    Lotta good arguments in here, so instead of responding to those I’ll just write out my thoughts:

    Wand should not ever ever ever be cut from the UFC, that would be a huge mistake.

    Now, onto what is going to happen I believe:

    Wand will beat Jardine.
    Machida will beat Tito.
    Wand and Machida will fight.
    Rampage (after pounding Forrest halfway to death) will fight the winner of Wand/Machida.
    Winner of Rampage/Wand (or Machida) will fight the next circuit which is going to be starting up with Chuck vs. Evans. Things will proceed from there.

  • Jackyl says:

    I don’t think it’s an automatic drop down to MW if Silva loses. There are still plenty of viable fights at LHW. But the MW division is starting to fill out and he could be a legit contender for Anderson Silva. Say Wandy drops down, mabye fights Bisping or Leben, then Franklin. Assuming he gets past them we get a superfight with Anderson Silva. Awesome!!!

    If he stays, we could still get some fireworks. Griffin, rematch with Rampage, Evans, Alexander, Thiago Silva, Machida, all good matches in my opinion.

  • Derek B. says:

    Win or lose Silva needs to drop down to Middle weight. They need to push some fighters from LHW down to Middle weight becasue their LHW division is stacked and lot of those fighters could be cutting weight.

  • king mah mah says:

    If wanderlei loses to jardine he should definitely drop to mw. But I think he will destroy jardine. As far as cutting him from the ufc, well that’s just ridiculous!

  • the one says:

    dana white really sucks…..
    he cares about the company and not about the fighter’s…

  • xx2000xx says:

    He also said if he had 15 Silva’s, the sport would be the biggest in the world.

  • HexRei says:

    # # 16 xx2000xx Says:
    May 17th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    He also said if he had 15 Silva’s, the sport would be the biggest in the world.

    Well, he’s slowly working his way there, we’ve now got Thiago, Anderson, Wanderlei, he could always pull in Antonio next… and can we count Joe Silva? I think I’m still missing one.

  • […] according to Dana White, I may be wrong. Sam Caplan of Five Oz. passed along an audio clip from the UFC 84 press conference with White stating that Wanderlei needs […]

  • luke says:

    Interesting, but they’re not going to drop Silva. He’s a blockbuster name and he puts on great fights. He loses his next fight and he drops to mw (which is where he should be at).

    Dan Henderson lost twice butI don’t hear any rumors about him being dropped, and if he lost to say…Rich FRanklin, I still don’t think they’d cut him loose just yet. Same goes for Houston Alexander, though if he loses to the “can” they put up against him next to get things rolling, well then yeah he could be cut.

    I think the leash is a little longer than Dana is letting on. They’re cutting boring fighters, and the losses are justificiation for the cut.

    I mean what are you gonna do give Nakumara some extra fights instead of keeping Silva on the roster?


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