a blog by Brian
At 5-2, Chris Wade looked to be primed for a run to the UFC's lightweight rankings. In an odd and unfortunate turn of events, a seemingly personal grudge from the promotions former match-maker, Joe Silva, leaves Wade without a contract.
The former UFC lightweights tenure with the promotion has been confusing. Chris Wade went 5-2, over a three year stint with the organization. He began his octagon career with a four fight win streak, including two finishes. His two loses proceeded his streak. They came against Rustam Khabilov and Islam Makhachev, both by unanimous decision. Over the summer, in his final UFC appearance of 2017, Wade defeated Frankie Perez via unanimous decision on the Long Island UFC card.Considering what Wade has achieved while at the promotion (5-2 record, 4 fight win streak, 2 finishes, short-notice fights, never missed weight), why does he remain unsigned by his former employer?
The thirty year old went on The MMA Hour, earlier in the week to explain, "I'm a free agent right now", was his response when asked bout his employment status with the UFC. The answer met a level of surprise from the host, Ariel Helwani. He further explained, "I was under the impression Frankie and I were both..." he responded when asked about the final fight of his contract. "(because) we had come off a few loses. I thought it was one of those, sink or swim, kinda deal. Whoever loses this fight, you're out. It's the lightweight division. You know how the lightweight division is, it's stacked". The conversation then shifted, as the Long Islander began to elaborate his side of the story, "You saw my tweets, I feel mislead. That's where that anger kinda came from."
Wade took to twitter late last month, voicing his frustration with the UFC and namely, former match-maker, Joe Silva. When asked about his comments on Silva and where any animosity came from, "He and I just never saw eye to eye... I never had a conversation with the man, face to face like this... The way that I heard through my management, at the time, that he was speaking about me... it was infuriating... when I got to 3-0... I said to my manager, 'hey do you think maybe we could negotiate up just a little bit, get a little pay bump, a couple grand'. He's like, 'I'm gonna ask, I'll go ask'. He calls me back distraught, 'Chris, it didn't go well'... 'he laid into you pretty good, on there'... 'I don't even want to repeat the things he said about you on the phone'".
Another strife came between Silva and Wade. The second notable rift between the former employees occurred when the fighter and his management voiced displeasure of the match up with Islam Makhachev. For at the time, Makhachev recently came off an alleged failed drug test at the weigh-ins of the Russians previously scheduled bout. Wade explained, "(my management) told me that there was a PED issue... I'm very against PED's... he was coming off an appeals suspension... he really didn't say he didn't do it, there was an issue with the language barrier. It was a new on the banned substance list. So I was like, 'No, give me someone else'... (my manager) calls me back, "That did not go well'... 'he said, he's gonna cut you. That you're in no position to turn down a fight. Who do you think you are?'"
In explaining the events leading to his free agent status, Wade claimed, "I wound up getting that Perez fight, and I think I won all three of those rounds too... but, I thought I was next contract, moving on, let's go, let's move. I was told after that fight, we're gonna do your next contract when we get you your next opponent. So, I waited from July, to around my birthday in September... I feel like I got railroaded... I just kept hearing that it was gonna happen... I'm just still sitting here".
Currently, Wade believes his career in the UFC is over. Yet, despite it all, he stated his willingness to make a return with the promotion. He also clarified his issues did not exist with the entirety of the organization. Wade recently announced via social media his inclusion in the Rise Invitational 3, where he will be facing Sidney Outlaw, in an submission only match. The bout will take place in New York, on January 13th, 2018.
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