White: Silva Won’t Get Interim Title Shot
UFC President Dana White is standing his ground.
Earlier this week, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva went on The MMA Hour and threatened retirement if he was not granted a UFC interim middleweight title bout with Yoel Romero at UFC 212 in Brazil. Silva was scheduled to faced Kelvin Gastelum at the event — in the hopes of one more strong performance in his home country. But, Gastelum has been pulled from the pay-per-view card after failing a drug test when marijuana was found in his system.
White, however, will not give in to the demands of the longtime UFC superstar.
He states that, like many other past negotiations regarding fights, Silva has been hard to deal with.
"Every time I’ve, for the last however many years, deal with Anderson, it’s always interesting," White told TMZ (via MMA Fighting). "[Silva] wants an interim title, obviously we’re not going to do an interim title [fight]."
White then went on to dare Silva to retire, potentially calling a bluff.
"He’s coming out publicly, and you know my philosophy on that. If you ever say the ‘R’ word, you should probably do it anyway, you know?" White said. "If you’re ever considering retirement, you should probably do it.
"We will not do an interim title [fight]. It will not happen."
Silva is currently ranked No. 7 on the UFC’s middleweight rankings, with Romero ranked at No. 1. Romero was granted a middleweight title shot based off his win over another former middleweight champion and the man who ended Silva’s long reign in 2013, Chris Weidman, at UFC 205.
However, the middleweight championship picture is in a bit of flux, something Silva discussed about on The MMA Hour. A title bout between the champion, Bisping, and a returning Georges St-Pierre has been announced but not scheduled.
White, though, will not schedule an interim title fight because Bisping is simply tied up, not injured.
"Bisping’s ready, willing and able to fight the actual No. 1 contender, who is Yoel Romero," White said. "Anderson Silva is ranked No. 7 right now. If he’s willing to take the Romero fight for June — because he was supposed to fight Kelvin Gastelum.
"You know, Anderson’s mad. I didn’t pull Kelvin Gastelum out. Kelvin Gastelum smoked weed, and now he got busted, and you know we’ve done everything we could to make another fight for Anderson. So it’s nothing we did."