Dana White is calling Anderson Silva’s bluff.
Earlier this week, Silva threatened to retire if he wasn’t given an interim title bout against top middleweight contender Yoel Romero at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro on June 3. According to the UFC president, that isn’t happening.
You know my philosophy on that: If you ever say the ‘R’ word, you should probably do it anyway,” White told TMZ Sports. “If you’re ever considering retirement you should probably do it.
“We will not do an interim title. No, it won’t happen. [Middleweight champion Michael] Bisping’s ready willing and able to fight the actual No. 1 contender, who is Yoel Romero,” White continued. “Anderson Silva is ranked No. 7 right now. He was willing to take the Romero fight for June because he was supposed to fight Kelvin Gastelum.”
Of course, the Gastelum bout fell through because “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner was flagged for marijuana metabolites in a post-fight drug test following a win over Vitor Belfort on March 11 and was pulled from the proposed fight with Silva. While “The Spider” is upset that he might not be able to fight in his home country, White says that his anger is directed at the wrong target.
“Anderson’s mad, but I didn’t pull Kelvin Gastelum out,” White said. “Kelvin Gastelum smoked weed and now he got busted. We’ve done everything we could to make another fight for Anderson. It’s nothing we did.”
Silva ended a five-fight winless streak in his last outing, as he captured a unanimous verdict over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 on Feb. 11. It is the second time in recent months that Silva has voiced his displeasure with the UFC. After filling in on short notice to face Daniel Cormier at UFC 200, the ex-middleweight champ expressed disappointment in the UFC for a lack of gratitude and blasted the promotion for its “lack of respect toward Brazilian athletes.”
“Dealing with Anderson is always interesting,” White said. “Obviously he wants an interim title. Obviously we’re not going to do an interim title.”