Things just keep getting worse between UFC and former middleweight king Anderson Silva. After the promotion was unable to find Silva a new opponent following Kelvin Gastelum’s removal from UFC 212, the Brazilian legend lost his cool. Silva not only threatened to retire if he didn’t land an interim title fight opposite top contender Yoel Romero, but he eventually bashed the company and removed himself from the UFC 212 card, which prompted the promotion to offer a full ticket refund. As the flames continue to burn high, UFC president Dana White is ready and willing to meet with Silva and bury the hatch.
“I have to deal with tons of different personalities and egos and lots of different things with all of the athletes that I deal with,” White said during a recent appearance on “The Jim Rome Show” on CBS Sports Radio. “Anderson Silva has always been one of those guys that’s been unique to deal with – (but) never at this level. I didn’t make Kelvin Gastelum test positive for marijuana and pull out of the fight, and we tried to make other fights and get other opponents for him.
“You can’t demand a title fight or (threaten), ‘I’m going to retire.’ Especially when you know that my philosophy is this: If you even mention the word ‘retirement,’ you should probably retire. I know he’s not thrilled and happy with me. He and I need to sit down and do a face-to-face.”
If Silva actually retires, he won’t be able to test himself against this guy. More importantly, he would end his UFC career on a sour note amidst a public battle with the promotion he has called home since 2006.
“At the end of the day, despite Anderson Silva going crazy on Instagram and saying all these things right now, he’s actually a really nice guy,” White said. “He’s angry right now and we need to sit down. Everything is better face-to-face, so I probably need to fly out to California and sit down to talk with him – and soon, very soon.”
Despite beating Derek Brunson via unanimous decision at UFC 208 this past February, “The Spider” is far removed from the middleweight title picture. Silva will have to sit down with White and figure out what works best for both sides in order to prolong the 42-year-old’s career, and relevant popularity, as long as possible.