Anderson Silva, 45, is the middleweight GOAT, and spoke recently with MMA Junkie, ahead of his fight vs. Uriah Hall at UFC on ESPN+ 39 on Saturday. It will be his last in the UFC, after fighting in the big show since 2006. Silva says the UFC isn't what it once was, following the sale to WME/IMG (now Endeavor) for four billion dollars in 2016.
“I think the UFC changed for me when Lorenzo came out,” explained Silvae. “Lorenzo tried to put inside the UFC the big family, and right now it’s completely different, but I continue to fight inside the UFC because I have a lot of friends, and I feel the same family. But, yeah, of course, it’s changed a lot when Lorenzo is not inside.”.
“I think Lorenzo and the Fertitta brothers, who [were] the owners of the UFC, the relationship with fighters was more close, especially for me. I love Dana, but Lorenzo and his brother [were] very close to the fighters and tried to make the UFC fighters part of the UFC family.”
Silva holds the record for the longest title reign in UFC history (2,457 days). "The Spider" went undefeated from 2006 to 2013, winning 16 consecutive fights. However, he has won just one fight since 2012. The sole win was a unanimous decision over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 on February 11, 2017. Silva also defeated Nick Diaz via unanimous decision at UFC 183 on January 31, 2015, but saw the win changed to a No Contest after testing positive for the steroids drostanolone and androsterone.
Hall, 36, is on a two-fight win streak, split decisioning Antonio Carlos Junior at UFC on ESPN+ 16 on September 14, 2019, and knocking out Bevon Lewis at UFC 232 on December 29, 2018.