When Chris Weidman got his first title shot against Anderson Silva, UFC president, Dana White was not happy with how ticket sales and pay-per-view buys were projecting. So, the boss told the then-undefeated middleweight he needs to trash-talk the Brazilian.
Although it was a fantastic matchup on paper, the sales were generating so Weidman did what White told him to and started to trash-talk.
“[Dana said] ‘You’re not promoting the f*cking fight. Ticket sales aren’t looking good, pay-per-view numbers aren’t looking good already.’ … So I hear this and I was in my house and I was like a ghost,” Weidman said in a recent appearance on Grange TV with Robert Whittaker (transcript via The Body Lock).
“I felt super white and anxious because I’m about to be someone I’m not used to being at all. I have to talk trash now. I’m like f*ck. I hated this feeling. ‘Why can’t I go out there and fight and win. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to beat this guy. Isn’t that enough?’ It wasn’t.
“I came up with a tweet,” Weidman concluded. “I don’t remember exactly what it was. Basically, a little bit of talking shit, how I’m going to beat Anderson Silva. I copy and paste it, I text Dana. I’m like ‘hey, just so you know, I put this out. Hopefully, that makes you happy. There’s more to come.’”
In the end, Chris Weidman got his hand raised that night by knocking out Anderson Silva and shocking the world. He wound up beating him a second time by leg injury but lost his middleweight strap to Luke Rockhold. Yet, the trash talk appears to have worked as at the MGM Grand 12,964 fans were there and estimated PPV buys hovered around 550,000. Without the trash talk who knows how well ticket sales and PPV buys would have been.