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Silva's apology for UFC 90 anitcs was appropriate


October 27, 2008

Before the televised portion of UFC 90 on Saturday at Allstate Arena, Dana White guaranteed at least one "Holy [Smokes] moment."

There were a few, including a couple the UFC president wasn't hoping for.

Sean Sherk's thrilling but controversial decision victory over Tyson Griffin was one such moment, and Junior Dos Santos' knockout of Fabricio Werdum was another.

But perhaps the two most lasting memories of UFC 90 are ones White would like to forget.

The first is the way middleweight champ Anderson Silva acted in the Octagon. It was as if the man White describes as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet wasn't interested in fighting. He danced and laughed on the way to the Octagon, then ran and clowned around during the fight as the near-sellout crowd of 15,539 booed.

When Silva did engage, it was obvious his speed and talent were more than Patrick Cote could handle. Silva landed a knee that opened a cut on Cote's forehead.

But for the most part, Silva avoided contact.

The final ‘moment' was when Cote went down without being hit in the third round. He said he his right knee popped out and popped back in as he re-injured his meniscus. The fight was stopped as a stunned crowd began to boo.

"It always sucks when it ends this way," White said. "You could feel it in the crowd. It was flat at the end. You never want to go out like that."

It was the first UFC event in the Chicago area, and for the most part it was a thrilling night of action. White knows, however, the main event will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many who aren't familiar with the UFC.

White obviously wasn't happy with Silva's tactics, although he refrained from openly criticizing his champion.

"I didn't understand [Silva's tactics]," White said. "I didn't know what he was doing.

"I felt like I was in an alternate universe. It wasn't the Anderson Silva I've been watching the last two years."

Silva remained defiant in the post-fight news conference.

I came here to do my job," he said. "I wasn't playing around. That's why I'm champion. I didn't come to play around."

But White said Silva apologized to him and the fans after the fight.

That apology was appropriate, especially to the fans who paid money to see a fight — not a show.

And it was appropriate to apologize to White, who understands the importance of making a good first impression in a new market. White did his part. Silva didn't do his.