Rarely has the usually reserved and happy-go-lucky Anderson Silva been as animated as he was when he appeared on The MMA Hour last week. ‘The Spider’, one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, bemoaned the UFC’s lack of action in finding him an opponent to replace Kelvin Gastelum as his UFC 212 dance partner, after the American was removed from the card owing to a marijuana related USADA violation.
During the interview, Silva said that he received a promise that Georges St-Pierre would face him on his return from the self-imposed hiatus but instead GSP was booked to face Michael Bisping in a fight which now looks like it won’t happen for several months. ‘The Spider’ then asked for an interim title bout with #1 middleweight contender Yoel Romero but that was roundly shot down by UFC president Dana White, who also suggested that Silva should consider retiring from mixed martial arts.
This impasse has now led to Silva withdrawing himself from next month’s UFC 212 card in his native Brazil and, ss per UOL (and as reported by MMAJunkie), Silva said that the UFC’s lack of respect for him has led to this.
“I really wanted to fight in Brazil, my country, but it’s not going to happen”, Silva said. “I want to apologize for this. I really wanted to fight here, but it didn’t happen. I think I was hurt in this, but that’s it. I’m very disappointed. The guys don’t respect my legacy, don’t respect my story in the sport. I don’t know. I’m done.”
It’s unclear what the ramifications of this might mean for the now 42-year-old fighter. Kelvin Gastelum has respectfully called for their bout to be rescheduled but Silva is clearly upset with the status quo in the UFC as of now. After threatening to retire and subsequently hearing Dana White endorse the idea, it would be a shame if the legendary career of the middleweight GOAT reaches the most anticlimactic of endings.