It doesn't seem like Anderson Silva is going to make good on his promise to retire if he wasn't granted an Ultimate Fighting Championship interim title shot, but that doesn't mean it's smooth sailing ahead of UFC 212.
On Sunday, during a live Instagram stream with Brazilian outlet Universo Online (UOL), “The Spider” stated that he still has no opponent for the June 3 UFC pay-per-view at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro and that now it was unlikely that he would compete at UFC 212. Silva said that he had now started to disassemble his training camp in anticipation of not fighting.
“I really wanted to fight in my country, Brazil, but it’s not going to happen,” Silva said during the stream. “I want to apologize for this. I really wanted to fight here but it won't happen. I think I've been hurt in this. That’s it.”
The video of the streamed interview has since been removed but UOL has published a written report detailing Silva's comments.
The 42-year-old Silva was originally scheduled to face rising middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum on the UFC 212 bill, but on April 6, Gastelum was flagged for cannabinoid metabolites in a post-fight drug sample collected following his March 11 win over Vitor Belfort in Fortaleza, Brazil. Gastelum was pulled from the bout by the UFC and no replacement was ever officially named (online betting).
Silva took to “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani on May 1 to voice his frustrations with the recent promotional developments, saying that he would retire if the UFC didn't schedule an interim middleweight title bout between him and Yoel Romero for June 3. In response, UFC President Dana White attempted to call the MMA legend's bluff, telling TMZ Sports, “You know my philosophy on that: If you ever say the ‘R’ word, you should probably do it, anyway. If you’re considering retirement, you should probably do it.”
At UFC 208 in February, Silva broke a five-bout winless streak in the Octagon, taking a contentious unanimous decision victory over middleweight contender Derek Brunson in Brooklyn, New York.