Dana White backs off talk of Anderson Silva title shot

BY Elias Cepeda • January 30, 2015

During an interview this week on FOX Sports 1, UFC president Dana White backed off a bit from his earlier statements that Anderson Silva would, like, totally get a title shot if he beat Nick Diaz -- a welterweight on a two-fight losing streak -- in the main event of UFC 183 this Saturday. White is still pushing the ridiculous notion that "The Spider" is somehow the No. 1 contender (despite disqualifying inactivity and two straight decisive losses to the champion) to Chris Weidman's belt, but he's at least taking a wait-and-see attitude to pushing his big draw into another title fight.

"I think that on Saturday night, we'll see where he's at," White said.

"He's an absolute professional, he's done everything he needs to do to prepare for this fight. He's back in shape, I think it's just a mental thing, he has to get out there and see how he feels."

Silva himself has said that he expects he'd need several fights to reach the point where he would be considered a viable title contender again and where he would be ready for another title fight. After all, he's coming off of two straight stoppage losses, a year off due to a horrible injury, and he'll be 40 years old in a couple months.

White disagrees, but says he'll defer to Silva. Which is interesting, as Silva has said he'll defer to Dana.

"I don't think he needs 3-4 fights to get back to the title," White said.

"But if he feels that way, he's the No. 1-ranked guy in the world, he can fight Jacare Souza, he can fight Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero."

Of course, Silva is not the No. 1 middleweight in the world in any credible rankings. Historically, serious rankings suspend fighters who have been inactive for a year or more, as Silva has. Also, as a general rule, losing streaks -- even against the best -- are not as helpful in legit rankings as say, the types of winning streaks that the likes of Rockhold and Souza have going at this point.

But, Silva is a huge star, and the UFC's bottom line suffered a great deal last year, in large part due to the absence of their biggest names like Silva, Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz, competing. So, it is understandable that White wants to get and keep Silva in the biggest fights possible, now that he's returned.

Silva has said recently that he'd like to avoid fighting more of his fellow Brazilian countrymen for a title, from now on. However, he's also said that he's upset with the likes of former friends and training partners Lyoto Machida and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, for saying publicly that they'd be willing to fight him.  

If Silva is ever to return to campaigning against real and top middleweights, not fighting Brazilians would certainly seem like an obstacle. "He starts getting very limited when he doesn't want to fight Brazilians or other guys," White said.

"Three of the top guys in the world are Brazilian. Anderson always has some crazy things to say before the fight."

True, he does. But so does Anderson's promoter.

To make sure you catch all of the action from UFC 183: Silva vs. Diaz check out our viewing and schedule guidefor everything going down in Las Vegas.

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