Silva Wants Diaz Rematch at UFC 212
The greatest Brazilian champion in MMA history is in need of an opponent. Anderson Silva is seeking someone to share the cage with at UFC 212 in Rio two months from now, as his opponent Kelvin Gastelum was pulled from the card due to testing positive for marijuana.
Silva intends to stay on the card, even facing off with himself at the kickoff press conference this week.
But as for his next opponent, "The Spider" is being a bit selective.
Appearing at UFC 210, former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold told reporters that he had been offered the fight against Silva at UFC 212, but he was skeptical that Silva would accept the fight. Reports quickly came out from Silva’s team, who expressed disinterest in taking on Rockhold.
At the press conference, Silva told the media that he has no interest fighting Rockhold — or Vitor Belfort — because they are coming off of losses.
"I’m coming off a win, right, after a long time without wins, so it doesn’t make sense to fight any of them because they are both coming off losses. It’s not something that will add anything for me. It doesn’t make sense.
"I’m ready to fight whoever the UFC puts there. It doesn’t matter who that is, be someone who’s coming off wins and adds something to my legacy, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.”
Rockhold hasn’t fought since last June, when he lost his middleweight title to Michael Bisping in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Belfort was knocked out by Kelvin Gastelum last month.
Silva’s last fight took place at UFC 208, and was not without its controversy: he beat Derrick Brunson by unanimous decision, but the majority of fans and media members scored the fight in Brunson’s favor.
One fight that interests Silva — despite his sentiment about fighters coming off of losses — is a rematch against Nick Diaz.
"It’s something that was on the table, too, it’s possible that it happens this fight with Nick. I respect him, he’s an excellent fighter. It would be an interesting fight. It would be cool because this fight makes sense. The (first) fight was a no contest, so we’ll see. Anything can happen."
Diaz has not fought since losing a unanimous decision to Silva in January of 2015. That fight was turned to a no contest, as Silva tested positive for drostanolone and Diaz popped for marijuana.