UFC’s 212 PPV card just took a big notoriety hit with the absence of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
The UFC’s PPV card in Rio de Janeiro this June is all set to feature a lineup for Brazilian MMA stars, but it’ll be without it’s most marquee attraction. Anderson Silva was set to face Kelvin Gastelum in a bout on the PPV card, but a failed drug test for marijuana and subsequent suspension by the Brazilian MMA Sports Court for saw Gastelum pulled from the card.
That was back in early April, plenty of time to find a replacement for a fight in June, right? Apparently not.
Despite talk of putting together bouts with Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall, and even a Nick Diaz rematch, in a recent live Instagram video, Silva told fans that he’s dismantling his camp and that he’s not fighting at UFC 212 (translation via MMA Junkie | transcript via UOL).
“I really wanted to fight in Brazil, my country, but it’s not going to happen,” Silva said. “I want to apologize for this. I really wanted to fight here, but it didn’t happen. I think I was hurt in this, but that’s it.”
In a recent interview with the MMA Hour, Silva threatened to retire if he couldn’t get an interim title shot with Yoel Romero. UFC president Dana White doubled down on the statement for him, telling the middleweight great that he probably should. What Silva’s next move will be is anyone’s guess.