In a less than impressive five round performance, Silva and then contender, Thales Leites danced around, failed to engage, and overall bored fans and Dana White alike.
Fast Forward one year to April 10, 2010 and it seems we have rather uncomfortable case of déjà vu.
Dana White 2009:
“I can honestly tell you that I’ve never put on an event that I was embarrassed to be at until tonight”
“I want to publicly apologize to all the fans.”
Dana White 2010:
"To end it the way that we did was an embarrassment for me, the UFC, the Fertittas and the UAE."
"I don’t know how yet, but I will make this up to the fans,"
Anderson Silva 2009:
“Sorry. Next time I’ll give a better performance,”
“It’s unfortunate, but sometimes things don’t work out like the public wants them to. Hopefully next time, I’ll give a better performance. Thales Leites is a very tough opponent and comes from a great jiu-jitsu school, I trained at. It’s unfortunate. I wish I could have given a better show, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.”
Anderson Silva 2010:
“I don’t feel like I owe anyone an apology right now. Sometimes fights turn out good, sometimes they turn out bad”
While many will defend Silva saying he did what he needed to do and won the fight, Dana White and the majority of fans feel that if your good enough to dance out there, your good enough to finish the fight.
Four rounds into the main event, White walked over to the seat of Ed Soares, Silva’s Manager and handed him the belt.
“I gave the belt to Ed and said, ‘You put it on him. I’m not doing it,”
While the events themselves are similar, the post fight quotes are nearly identical, its hard to believe that this could have even happened, and happened again.
Overall, White is aware that this has cost the UFC reputation and ultimately, money.
With a sport that has more than its fair share of challenges and public support, chances are, the UFC will bounce back and probablly bigger than before.