Silva had initially been slated to fight Kelvin Gastelum on June 3 at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a fight that he was looking forward to, as he wants very much to fight in front of his home country fans. Gastelum, however, was pulled from the fight after receiving a provisional suspension for testing positive to marijuana.
The UFC has continued to note that Silva would fight on the card and has been searching for a suitable opponent. Silva shot down several options, not wanting to fight the likes of Vitor Belfort or Luke Rockhold, as they are coming off of losses and he is not.
“I win my last fight,” said Silva in an interview on The MMA Hour. “Why I go to fight the guys that no win the fight? It don’t make sense.”
The fight that makes sense, the fight that Silva wants, is a battle with top middleweight contender Romero. In fact, it’s a fight that Romero wants as well.
“I have a big respect for Anderson. He’s a legend. This is a very good (opportunity) for me for my career,” said Romero, who joined Silva on The MMA Hour on Monday.
The one caveat seems to be that both men require the fight be for the interim UFC middleweight championship. Current titleholder Michael Bisping has been sidelined for several months with an injury. Now ready to return, he has inked a deal to put his belt on the line against returning former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, effectively taking Romero out of the title picture, if only temporarily.
St-Pierre, however, has been dragging his feet on committing to a date for the fight with Bisping, holding up the middleweight strap even longer than most had expected.
Romero is either going to wait for his title shot or wants an interim belt on the line. Silva agrees, and neither seems willing to budge.
“I fight only with Anderson for the interim belt. If no fight with him, I wait for my time for the belt,” said Romero.
“It’s got to be for the interim belt or it’s not interesting,” added Silva.
While Romero is willing to sit and wait for his title shot, Silva is not. He’s become extremely frustrated with the UFC and president Dana White, saying over and over on Monday that if he doesn’t get the fight with Romero in Rio, he will quit fighting altogether.
His first frustration, he says, was that when he signed his most recent UFC contract, White and former owner Lorenzo Fertitta promised him a super fight with St-Pierre if and when the Canadian decided to return. Feeling that promises have been broken and that he deserves more consideration after having stepped in on short notice for the UFC on multiple occasions, Silva wants the interim title fight with Romero or he is done.
“If (UFC) no give this fight for me for interim belt, I’m done,” he said repeatedly.
“(I’m) just waiting for Dana’s decision for put on this fight for me and Yoel Romero. It doesn’t happen, I’m done. I go back to my home. No more fights.”
“I save all time the UFC,” he continued. “I’m far too old and I’m done, bro. I’m sorry. I know I need to respect my fans; I respect my fans. I’m sorry guys. I love my sport. I love fight. Fight is my life. But it’s too much bull(expletive).
“This fight, me and Yoel Romero, no happen. I’m done.”
[UPDATE] Silva’s manager, Jorge Guimaraes, told MMAWeekly.com late Monday afternoon that the UFC has thus far given no indication that it is willing to make the interim title fight happen.