Anderson Silva recently stated that if he didn’t get a fight with Yoel Romero for the interim middleweight title at UFC 212 in June that he would not fight again.
“This fight, me and Yoel Romero, no happen. I’m done,” he repeatedly declared on The MMA Hour.
If he stands by his word, it appears that Silva may have to retire. UFC president Dana White on Saturday told TMZ Sports in no uncertain terms that there would be no interim title fight and that if Silva is even uttering the word retirement, he should probably just go ahead and retire.
“Every time, for the last however many years, dealing with Anderson, it’s always interesting. Obviously, he wants an interim title. Obviously, we’re not going to do an interim title,” said White.
“He’s definitely coming out publicly and, you know my philosophy on that, if you ever say the ‘R’ word, you should probably do it anyway. If you’re considering retirement, you should probably do it.”
Silva has always had a contentious relationship with the UFC when it comes to negotiating fights, but, as Silva said, he has also frequently stepped up to save fights as well. Most recently, he agreed to take a fight against UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier on just a couple days of notice when Jon Jones was pulled from the bout after being flagged for an anti-doping violation in the final days before UFC 200.
Regardless, the UFC isn’t prepared to give in to Silva’s demands. Current middleweight champion Michael Bisping is slated to face Georges St-Pierre at some point this year, although St-Pierre recently indicated he won’t fight before November. But even if the UFC decides to move on the middleweight division prior to St-Pierre’s return, White said Bisping is ready to go, so they’re not going to do an interim title.
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“We will not do an interim title. No, it won’t happen. Bisping’s ready, willing, and able to fight the actual number one contender, who is Yoel Romero,” White continued.
“I mean Anderson Silva’s ranked No. 7 right now. If he was willing to take the Romero fight for June because he was supposed to fight Kelvin Gastelum… Anderson’s mad. I didn’t pull Kelvin Gastelum out. Kelvin Gastelum smoked weed and now he got busted and we’ve done everything we could to make another fight for Anderson. So it’s nothing we did.”
It’s an interesting game of chicken that Silva and White are playing, as we’re running out of time for one of them to flinch. UFC 212 is slated for June 3 in Rio, so someone will have to make a move soon if there is any hope of keeping Silva on the fight card.
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