Anderson Silva is still upset with the UFC following the circumstances that led to him being unable to compete at UFC 212.
On Tuesday, “The Spider” issued a message (via Combate) in an Instagram live stream that blasted both the Las Vegas-based promotion and UFC President Dana White. Silva was initially scheduled to face Kelvin Gastelum at the June 3 event in Rio de Janeiro before Gastelum was removed from the card after testing positive for marijuana metabolites.
Silva then threatened to retire unless he was given an interim middleweight title bout against Yoel Romero at UFC 212. More recently, the 42-year-old Brazilian announced that he had disassembled his training camp because it was unlikely that he would get a new opponent for the event.
“There’s a lockout against the division’s athletes. It’s not that I’m pissy, because I won’t fight for the belt. I had the belt for 10 years. Nothing in this sport is new to me,” Silva said (translation via MMAjunkie.com). “But, for my business, there’s no reason for me to take a fight with Romero that isn’t for the interim belt. There’s no reason. I’m not an idiot, I’m not stupid. I want people to understand that, that they stop talking crap, because they don’t understand what happens behind the scenes in this sport.
“Unfortunately, all of athletes in the division are suffering due to this lockout. I’m 42, everything has happened to me in this sport: I’ve lost, I’ve failed a doping test, I’ve won, [I was] champion for years,” he continued. “I just want to fight and be happy. But, in order for me to fight with Romero – who’s a tough guy, everyone runs from him. They’re trying to protect Bisping from fighting him.”
For now, reigning middleweight champion Michael Bisping is supposed to make his next title defense against Georges St. Pierre, who will be returning to the Octagon for the first time since November 2013. While the promotion initially targeted UFC 213 on July 8 for the bout, St. Pierre recently revealed that he would be ready to fight anytime after October. Bisping hasn’t defended the belt since besting Dan Henderson at UFC 204 last October, while Romero, the No. 1 ranked contender at 185 pounds, hasn’t fought since November 2016.
Silva is clearly not happy with the current hierarchy in the middleweight division, and he places much of the blame on White, whom he refers to as “The Almighty.”
“And, to make matters even worse, he – ‘The Almighty’ – does the following: He brings in a guy who came out of retirement, who’s not from the division and gets him to fight for the belt,” Silva said. “But how does he take a guy who’s coming out of retirement, who’s not in the division — he’s going to have an excuse for that, OK? I’m warning you — to fight for the belt with a guy who won a fight on the scorecards and lost another one via knockout? With a guy who, allegedly, in his last interview, says he’s ready to fight and didn’t get him to fight with the No. 1 ranked guy, who’s Yoel Romero. The whole thing is bulls—t. And I can’t keep quiet. All of the athletes in the division should speak up.”
Silva stands by his decision to end his training camp and not compete at UFC 212, even though he was initially excited at the opportunity to compete in his home country.
“‘The Almighty’ owns the toy. Whoever wants to accept it, accepts it, and those who don’t want to, don’t. I won’t accept it,” Silva said. “If I accept this circus, I have five kids, and I can’t go home and say ‘I backed down.’ I’m a man, and I’ll go all the way. When you’re right, you have to go all the way. I’m sorry if this costs my leaving the UFC, retiring, being sidelined. [If] they want to mess with me, I don’t care. But what I’m doing is the right thing. It’s the right thing for me. It’s my manhood, and no one is changing that. I’m outraged, but I’m happy I’m ending a camp that wasn’t money thrown away.”
Silva also believes he is ultimately helping both Romero and the rest of the middleweight division with his message.
“In a way, [I’m] happier than if I had fought. We managed to make ‘The Almighty’ alert. He’s going to have to put Romero to fight; there are no excuses. He’s the No. 1 ranked, and Bisping said he’s ready to fight. There are no excuses. In a way, I helped a co-worker.
“This is what we’re supposed to do, not call Dana White names or clash. But Dana shot himself in the foot. I have no problem with him. The problem is when it affects the fighters, who spend months away from home, who make the show happen. It’s not [White]. He only sits there, makes fights and watches them. This is bulls—t. It has to end. I love this, it’s my passion, but I can’t accept this type of bullshit. The UFC is not a sport. It’s an entity. MMA is the sport. The UFC is a brand that broadcasts and makes the MMA fights. One for all, all for one, and victory in war.”