In the immediate aftermath of the Anderson Silva versus Chris Weidman fight, there were questions about whether the fight was fixed. The most visible location of this discussion was Sports Illustrated’s online show, SI Now.
If you saw the fight, the question seemed preposterous. Silva may be one of the better actors inside the Octagon, but it’s hard to believe his acting is so fine that he was aware enough to roll his eyes to the back of his head when Weidman’s left hook caught him on the chin.
The panel on the SI show, some of whom acknowledged not seeing the fight, used the Weidman victory to launch into a discussion of fight fixing in general terms, not specific to the UFC. However, by using the UFC fight as its launching point, they clearly planted the seed that the Silva versus Weidman fight may have been fixed.
That fact clearly bothered UFC president Dana White, who took to ESPN earlier in the week to rip into the SI panel, calling them “morons” and chastising them for not watching the fight they were commenting on. White ended his rant against SI by saying, “It’s more about the shock factor than the fact factor.”
To SI’s credit, they invited White on SI Now on Friday to speak about his problems with the way the fight was covered. White was in full-on angry Dana White mode when his opportunity to speak arrived. White said he hoped the reason he had been invited on the show was so SI could apologize to him for the manner in which they handled the discussion. He also implored the panel to do their homework on the sports they discuss before talking about them.
By the end of the call, White had calmed down enough to discuss the rematch and how that fight came to fruition.
Weidman and Silva will have their rematch in the main event of UFC 168. That fight card will take place on December 28 from Las Vegas. The card will feature a co-main event between women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.