Anderson Silva isn’t softening on his stance opposing UFC’s booking of the UFC Middleweight Division.
The former long-time UFC Middleweight Champion took to Instagram Live on Tuesday to criticize UFC and its president Dana White in particular for the company’s handling of the UFC Middleweight Title picture. And while Silva may not have a fight booked anymore, he said he’s happy to be fighting on behalf of his fellow fighters, namely Yoel Romero.
“Now the almighty one, who everybody knows who it is, has to calm down and put Yoel Romero to fight,” Silva said (via MMA Fighting). “Now he has to put Yoel Romero to fight and there is no excuse. He has no excuse to give. He has to put Yoel Romero to fight, because Yoel Romero is the number one in the ranking, and (Michael) Bisping said he’s ready to fight. So, there’s no more talk. He has to put Yoel Romero to fight. Period.”
The call for a Romero-Bisping fight is a slight departure for Silva, who had recently threatened to retire if UFC didn’t book an Interim Title fight between himself and Romero. Dana White was quick to call Silva out on his bluff, saying that if Silva is thinking of retirement that he probably should retire.
Despite the back and forth going on, Silva was sure to announce that there is no bad blood between himself and the boss.
“I’ll be honest with you,” he said. “I don’t have any personal problem with him, but the problem is when it affects the fighters, when it affects the fighters that leave home for three months to train, who train hard, who train injured, and who make it all happen … we are the ones who make the show happen, not him. No. He sits there and only books fights and stays there, brother. The truth is that this is a big joke that is happening, and it has to stop.”
Despite the delays, mostly from Georges St-Pierre’s side, the GSP-Bisping fight is still a go, so Silva and the rest of the UFC Middleweight Division may have to go along with the joke a while longer.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: The handling of this GSP-Bisping fight has been a bit of a mess, starting with GSP claiming he was ready to come back last summer for a December fight that never materialized, to declaring himself a free agent, to finally having the fight officially announced in March, but with no date or location named, to now where GSP isn’t willing to fight before October – a full year after Bisping’s last title defense, and one that was also considered a “joke” fight to many. The sentiment that is beginning to emerge is that Bisping should fight Yoel Romero or another top contender, maybe Robert Whittaker, on the July UFC 213 card that needs a main event, and then if Bisping wins, he can fight GSP in the fall, and if he loses, look at Plan B for GSP, whatever that may be. This is probably the right way to go. Yes, it puts at risk the Bisping-GSP title fight, but GSP vs. Romero or Whittaker, or GSP vs. Bisping with no title on the line, are probably not appreciably less marketable fights than the planned GSP-Bisping title fight. The Middleweight Division and many fans are growing frustrated with the lack of movement on this, so a decision should be made one way or another very soon.
WEDNESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Bellator held a media conference call ahead of their May 19 Bellator 179 show from London. During the call, Scott Coker said that he’d “hear it out” and “see if anything can be done” regarding Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell, who have both been talking about making a return to fighting recently.
-Coker also said that the winner of the Paul Daley-Rory MacDonald fight will be next in line for a Bellator Welterweight Championship fight. Champion Douglas Lima defends against Lorenz Larkin on June 24.
-UFC has hired strength & conditioning and nutrition directors for their new Las Vegas Performance Institute. Bo Sandoval will head strength & conditioning. He was most recently director of strength and conditioning for the University of Michigan Olympic sports. Heading up nutrition will be Clint Wattenberg, a former sports nutrition coordinator for Cornell University. (SOURCE)
-UFC made official (again) the previously announced and quickly rescinded news that they will be starting a Women’s Flyweight Division and will be crowning a new champion via the 26th season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
-A key bantamweight fight has been made between Jimmie Rivera and Thomas Almeida for the UFC on FOX show from Uniondale, New York on July 22.
-Episodes 2 and 3 of UFC 211 Embedded are now available.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S REPORT: TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 5/9: Gastelum says he won’t return to Brazil after his fine and suspension, Iaquinta’s latest (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)