LAS VEGAS – The Ultimate Fighting Championship has fined middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva $50,000 for refusing to take part in a planned pre-UFC 162 media event.
Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) was scheduled to talk with a few of Los Angeles’ largest media outlets on Tuesday but ultimately skipped the session and instead flew home to his native Brazil.
“We had a full media day set up for him in Los Angeles, and he just decided he didn’t want to do it, so he’s being fined $50,000,” UFC President Dana White told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The media session was scheduled to coincide with this week’s ticket on-sale date for “UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman,” in which Silva looks to defend his belt against Chris Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC). The pay-per-view event takes place July 6 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. The annual Fourth of July weekend fight card is considered one of the promotion’s cornerstone events and comes complete with a two-day UFC Fan Expo and a full slate of fan-driven activities.
“He doesn’t like talking to the media, but it’s part of his contractual obligation,” White said. “Everybody wants more money, more money, more money, but nobody wants to sell the fight or go out and talk to the media. Talking to the media is part of your job, whether you like it or not.”
Silva was scheduled to appear on local TV and radio stations, as well as a luncheon with more than a dozen Los Angeles-area newspapers and websites.
Silva is not the first high-profile UFC fighter to skip company-scheduled media appearances. In 2011 Nick Diaz missed a pair of pre-UFC 137 press conferences designed to promote a planned bout with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. In a then-unprecedented move, White pulled Diaz from the headlining contest and replaced him with Carlos Condit.
White said he is not currently inclined to take similar action against Silva, and the bout with Weidman is still scheduled to serve as the UFC 162 main event.
“Nick Diaz didn’t show up for the press conference,” White said. “This was just a smaller media day, but it’s still not acceptable, so we’re fining him $50,000.”
Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, declined to comment on the matter.
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