Former UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva returned to the win column this year as he picked up a decision win over Derek Brunson at UFC 208.
Following the win, Anderson Silva was slated to fight streaking middleweight Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 211. Unfortunately for Silva, Gastelum was pulled from the fight after failing a USADA-administered drug test for marijuana metabolites. The former champ was left without an opponent for the scrap, and while the UFC looked to find him a replacement, they were unable to do so in time.
Recently, Silva called for an interim title fight given that middleweight champion Michael Bisping is currently gearing up for a title defense against former welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre in his highly anticipated return to the Octagon.
In an interview with TMZ, Dana White responded to Silva’s plea for an interim title, stating:
“Every time I’ve, for the last however many years, deal with Anderson, it’s always interesting,” said White. “[SIlva] wants an interim title, obviously we’re not going to do an interim title.
“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? If you’re ever considering retirement, you should probably do it.”
“Bisping’s ready, willing and able to fight the actual No. 1 contender, who is Yoel Romero,” explained White. “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.”
Only time will tell if Silva chooses to accept another fight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/6/2017.