Former longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva was scheduled to take on rising contender Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212 on June 3, 2017 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, but it was reported last week that Gastelum had been flagged by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) for a potential anti-doping violation, which subsequently forced him out of the bout with Silva.
The UFC quickly made it clear that “The Spider” would likely remain on the card, and names like Luke Rockhold and Vitor Belfort emerged as potential replacement opponents. Silva, however, doesn’t appear to be interested in fighting either man:
“I’m coming off a win (over Derek Brunson), right, after a long time without wins, so it doesn’t make sense to fight any of them because they are both coming off losses,” Silva said at a UFC 212 press conference in Rio de Janeiro (Via MMAFighting.com). “It’s not something that will add anything for me. It doesn’t make sense.
“I’m ready to fight whoever the UFC puts there. It doesn’t matter who that is, be someone who’s coming off wins and adds something to my legacy, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.”
Instead, Silva expressed interest in a rematch with former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz:
“It’s something that was on the table ,too, it’s possible that it happens this fight with Nick,” said Silva.
“I respect him, he’s an excellent fighter,” Silva said. “It would be an interesting fight. It would be cool because this fight makes sense. The (first) fight was a no contest, so we’ll see. Anything can happen.”
The first fight was indeed declared a no-contest. Silva technically won the bout via unanimous decision, but the result was overturned after both men failed drug tests.
Diaz, like Silva, was handed a suspension for his failed drug test, but he was deemed eligible to fight again this past August, although he has yet to return to the Octagon.
Would you like to see Silva and Diaz run it back in Brazil?