ByDanny Segura, writer at
Journalist. Twitter: @DannySeguraTV

MMA legend Wanderlei Silva is not happy with some of the "cowards" who fought in the opening round of Rizin's 2016 Open-Weight Gran Prix.

The former Pride FC champion, who was in attendance at Tokyo's Saitama Super Arena, took to the post-fight press conference to express his dissatisfaction with his fellow competitors.

"Hello, it's a great pleasure to be here, in front of the whole Japanese press," Silva said. "The gym was beautiful, the lights were beautiful, the show was beautiful. We got three hours in an open TV channel here in Japan. Do you think it's easy to get this in our sport? Do you have any idea of how much this team worked to make everything ready for you to step in that ring yesterday?

"Now, sincerely, I want to ask all fighters who fought yesterday. Some of them fought well, but some young ones left a lot to be desired. I was ashamed yesterday. Fighters scared of engaging each other, two or three minutes without action in the fight. This isn't UFC! The only thing that can make you come back to this event is to fight well, it's not the victory, it is to perform well."

Silva, who was recently released by the UFC and subsequently signed with Rizin FF, has made a reputation for himself with his wild, non-stop action fighting style. He's considered one of the most exciting fighters in MMA, known for his forward movement and brawling aesthetic. The 40-year-old fighter says he's saddened by the lack of action some fighters displayed in the tournament.

"There is no place for cowards here," Silva explained. "You either are tough and come to fight, or don't come, stay in your home. Sincerely, I hope you perform much better in December or no one will come back. I was very sad because a lot of times I gave my blood in that ring, so that you could have what you are having now here.

"So, everyone who is afraid, don't come in December. December has no place for kids, we just have place for men, men who wants to fight. Anyone who doesn't want to fight, stay home."

Silva will fight on December 29 in the quarterfinals of the Rizin FF 16-man open-weight tournament, after receiving an opening-round bye. He's set to face Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, who previously won the 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix. The pair have fought twice previously, with Cro Cop earning a knockout victory in their most recent encounter, after the two fought to a draw in 2002.

"Me and Mirko will show in December how it's done," Silva said. "How an epic fight, a true gladiators' fight is done, not by two cowards in that ring. Yesterday, I was ashamed of you. I hope that in December you come back in a better way."


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