Anderson Silva wants to fight Yoel Romero for the UFC interim middleweight title. Dana White isn’t having any of that.
Legendary former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva started the week by ripping into the UFC in a profanity-laced rant on The MMA Hour. With his UFC 212 fight vs. Kelvin Gastelum scrapped due to Gastelum failing a USADA drug test for marijuana, Silva demanded that he fight Yoel Romero for the interim middleweight title, or else he’d retire. He also said he felt disrespected by the UFC, as well as upset that Georges St-Pierre got an immediate title shot against champion Michael Bisping.
TMZ Sports caught up with UFC president Dana White for his reaction to Silva’s comments. If you’re one to take Dana’s words to heart, then Silva can forget about the interim belt.
“We will not do an interim title. No. It won’t happen,” White said (transcription via MMAjunkie). “Bisping’s ready, willing and able to fight the actual No. 1 contender, who is Yoel Romero. Anderson Silva’s ranked No. 7 right now. … 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.”
As far as the 42-year-old Silva’s retirement threats are concerned, White pulled out a line that is all too similar to what he said when Miesha Tate threatened retirement after not getting a rematch vs. Ronda Rousey at UFC 193.
“Every time for the last however many years, dealing with Anderson is always interesting,” White said. “Obviously, he wants an interim title – obviously, we’re not going to do an interim title. He’s definitely coming out publicly (with his demands). 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.”
It’s not yet been confirmed that Silva is off UFC 212, which takes place on June 3rd in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Silva turned down both Luke Rockhold and Vitor Belfort, but recent names who’ve emerged as replacements for Gastelum are Ovince Saint Preux and Mauricio Rua.