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02nd May 2017

Anderson Silva has threatened to retire from MMA unless he gets the one fight he wants

Ultimatum delivered

Darragh Murphy

Anderson Silva is not messing about.

Arguably the greatest of all time has delivered a no-nonsense ultimatum to the UFC, insisting that he will hang up his gloves for good unless they offer him an interim title fight.

The most successful middleweight champion of all time was expected to fight Kelvin Gastelum in his native Brazil at the beginning of next month but a failed drug test forced Gastelum off the UFC 212 card.

Four weeks remain until fight night and Silva is still without a replacement opponent. And he’s very, very pissed off about it.

In a fired-up interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, ‘The Spider’ insisted that he will hang around for one fight and one fight only – an interim title bout against top-ranked 185lber Yoel Romero.

“The guys no give this fight for me for the interim belt, I’m done,” Silva said. “I’ll go be with my family. I’m done.”

Many fight fans view Romero as the rightful number one contender for the middleweight crown but ‘The Soldier of God’ was passed over for a title shot in favour of the returning Georges St-Pierre.

St-Pierre is expected to meet champion, Michael Bisping, before the year is out and, in the meantime, Silva wants to compete for interim gold.

“I say, ‘OK, I go fight Yoel Romero,’” Silva continued. “Because I know I respect Yoel Romero, he’s a great fighter. He’s No. 1 in the ranks. But one thing — why Yoel Romero come to Brazil for fight me for nothing?”

Silva, 42, is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Derek Brunson, his first official win since 2012 after the result of his 2015 bout with Nick Diaz was overturned to a No Contest when Silva tested positive for banned substances.

Retirement can’t be all that far away for the Brazilian, who feels like he’s being shortchanged as he has put the preparations in for a fight at UFC 212 yet remains without an opponent.

“I stayed here for a long time for training,” Silva said. “This is not my fault for Gastelum to go out of the fight. This is not my problem. My problem is training hard for a fight in Brazil for my fans. What happens to my fans now? What happens to the people who paid to see my fight in Brazil. This is the second time this happened. I’m tired of this.”

Silva’s anger about the situation was clear for all to see as he called out the UFC for their lack of respect for the hours he’d spent in the gym training and for the fans who’d already bought tickets to see him compete at UFC 212 only for Silva to remain opponentless with a month to go until fight night.

“This is perfect bullshit,” Silva said. “I’m tired. I’m so tired. I’m respectful long time. Everything, I never talk about bad situations in UFC. … I think I’m done. I fight for long time in my life. And I’m tired, bro. I’m so upset. I have my legacy, I have my story. It’s very frustrating because this is the second time I’m not fighting in my country.”

Romero, undefeated in eight UFC contests, would welcome the idea of an interim title fight opposite a legend of the sport.

“I fight only with Anderson for the interim belt,” Romero said. “If not for him, I wait for my time for the belt.”