UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has failed to finish his opponent in only two UFC fights. At UFC 112 he spent five rounds toying with Demain Maia, while taunting him with terms like "playboy" (it's a long story).
The other was at UFC 97 in 2009, which also went the full five rounds.
In an interview with Benjamin Back of the Brazilian newspaper O Lance (The Lance), Silva was asked if he had ever held off finishing an opponent to keep a PPV going longer.
“There’s no such thing as holding back" replied Silva. "I want to finish as soon as possible. The only time I did it was because he was a friend of mine. It was against Thales Leites. We went until the last round because he’s a friend of mine and I respect him."
Curiously, in an Brazlian Portuguese language interview with Leites by Tatame today, he denied that they are friends.
"First, I want to say that Anderson never attended the New Union, never seen him there, we were never friends or acquaintances besides our profession" said Leites. "No doubt he is a great fighter. If he says he feels he went easy on me because he is my 'friend', I disagree.
"I was heavily criticized after the fight with Anderson, I really should have tried to fight more and take more chances, but the other opponents who came after me did not do much better. Those who tried to standup exposed themselves, eventually they got knocked out.
"I find it funny that a champion in his interviews who always preaches respect for others and the martial arts would give such a statement. I am a fighter always, I know what a fighter does and has to do to get up there. We all have good and bad times in our careers, after all, life is a true giant wheel, being on top, middle or bottom should always keep us humble and keep us quiet. There is no super man, we are all human beings."