Wanderlei Silva grateful to Dana White for UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2024 spot

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Wanderlei Silva expressed gratitude toward Dana White for his addition to the UFC Hall of Fame.

Former PRIDE FC champion and 12-fight UFC veteran Silva (35-14-1) was announced for the pioneer wing of the 2024 UFC Hall of Fame class during Saturday’s UFC 298 broadcast.

The announcement came as a surprise after White said 10 years ago that Silva had been “Pete Rose’d” and would never be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. But not only did the UFC CEO change his tune, he forgot that he ever made those comments.

“He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” White told MMA Junkie and other reporters during the UFC 298 post-fight news conference. “Back when me and the Fertittas got into this sport, we were huge Wanderlei Silva fans.

“Everybody that was a hardcore fan back then was a big fan of PRIDE. A lot of big stars came out of there, and Wanderlei has done a lot for the sport in the early days, and he deserves to be in there. … I’ve been in so many beefs with so many people that I didn’t even remember that until you just told me.”

Silva said he had no idea about the announcement and holds no grudge toward White for his past comments.

“I’m so thankful to Dana. I’m so thankful to the UFC,” Silva said backstage at UFC 298. “The guys gave me a good opportunity, put me in the biggest events with great opponents, and I’m so glad to have this moment here. I made a lot of money here in the UFC, and I have a good life today because the guys gave this opportunity for me, and I’m so thankful. I know Dana has a huge part in this Hall of Fame. Thanks so much, Dana White.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie