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Silva (12-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) said Taleb (14-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) confronted him after they fought on the FS1-televised show and assaulted him verbally and physically before being pulled away by his team.
“The UFC has to take notice,” Silva told MMAjunkie after his first-round submission win at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. “He needs to be punished.”
Silva said he was drinking a juice in the lobby of the Radisson Blu hours after the fight when Taleb approached him in an agitated state. He said Taleb immediately began berating him about the outcome of their fight and accused him colluding with the referee to get a submission win.
“He kicked me in the leg as I was sitting on the ground,” Silva said. “He said, ‘(Expletive) you, you’re a (expletive). You robbed me. You didn’t win that fight. You told the referee I was holding your gloves and then you got the choke.’”
Silva said he tried to defuse the situation, but Taleb continued to abuse him and used a homophobic slur. He said Taleb also challenged him by saying, “If someone talked to me like that, I would kill the person.” Taleb was then restrained by his teammates and left shortly afterward.
Taleb did not respond to multiple requests for comment, and the UFC’s European PR department did not immediately respond.
Taleb vented about the fight on social media, claiming the referee made a mistake in calling it off (via Twitter).
Silva said the situation was an unpleasant byproduct of an otherwise triumphant night. His victory marked his third UFC win after an almost four-year layoff due to injury.
“I’m a professional fighter at the end of the day,” Silva said. “It’s not professional to say those kinds of words. And man, I feel really bad for the sport. I come to fight. I don’t hate anyone. I just came there and did my job.
“I just looked at him and laughed, because we don’t have to do these kinds of things. We are professional fighters. We get paid to fight. It’s really bad for the sport. I’ve never experienced it before.”
According to revised promotional guidelines issued this past December by the UFC, its standard of conduct states that athletes who engage in “derogatory or offensive conduct,” including “insulting language, symbols, or actions” about a person’s sexual orientation “will result in sanctions in the form of contractual reduction from the athlete’s purse for his/her next bout.” All potential violations of the standard are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Silva didn’t say what specifically he wants the UFC to do about the situation. In his mind, though, he believes Taleb behaved badly and should be punished. What he doesn’t want is to resolve the situation by giving Taleb a rematch.
“I don’t have to give him a rematch, because he’s not relevant,” Silva said. “There’s nothing to do with him any more. He’s in the past now.”
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