Silva threatens to retire if can’t fight for interim

6:16 PM ET

Brazilian legend Anderson Silva has threatened to retire from mixed martial arts if the UFC does not grant him an interim middleweight title fight against Yoel Romero on June 3 in Rio de Janeiro.

During an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday, Silva, 42, said he’s still training to fight on June 3, even though his original opponent, Kelvin Gastelum, was pulled from the card several weeks ago because of a failed drug test.

Silva (34-8) and Romero (12-1) want to fight each other in Brazil, but only if an interim title is on the line. Current middleweight champion Michael Bisping is expected to defend his title against Georges St-Pierre next, which Silva described as, “F—ing bulls—.”

“I’m not going to fight Yoel Romero in Brazil for nothing,” Silva said. “Yoel Romero is not going to come to Brazil for nothing. I talked to Yoel’s team and we are on the same page. Let’s go fight, but for an interim title — because this makes sense.”

UFC president Dana White confirmed to ESPN.com the promotion has offered Silva several options to fight in his native Brazil. The promotion does not want to create an interim middleweight title at this time. White has stated as much on several occasions.

Silva, who is coming off a decision win over Derek Brunson in February, says he’s spent money and time on a training camp that might now go to waste if the two sides can’t come to an agreement.

The former longtime champion said he’s always done right by the company — accepting an exclusive Reebok apparel deal when it affected his sponsorship with Nike, stepping up for last-minute fights to save events — and now believes the UFC is failing to do so in return.

He criticized the UFC’s decision to book St-Pierre, who hasn’t fought since 2013, into an immediate title shot — and also claimed that fight against St-Pierre was once promised to him.

“When I signed my last contract, Dana and [former CEO Lorenzo Fertitta] say, ‘Your first fight will be a super-fight with Georges.’ Then Georges came back [from retirement] and nothing happens. Georges goes back and fights for the belt.

“I think I’m done. I fight for long time in my life and I’m tired. It’s very frustrating.”

Romero, 40, is widely viewed as next in line for a title shot, having won eight in a row. He has repeatedly offered to fight Silva in Brazil for an interim title, an offer he repeated on Monday.

“Only for the interim championship,” Romero told “The MMA Hour.” “It’s a good option, you know.”

The UFC has not announced when the title fight between Bisping and St-Pierre will take place. The UFC 212 pay-per-view event on June 3 will take place at the Jeunesse Arena.


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