Las Vegas, NV — UFC Vegas 12 was the swan song for Anderson Silva. At least it seems that way. While “The Spider” left the door open for a return, Dana White was unequivocal in saying that Silva would never fight again, following the fight.
“I made a big mistake. I shouldn’t have let him fight this fight tonight,” said White at Saturday’s post-fight press conference, later adding “Anderson Silva should never fight again.”
White wasn’t there to rag on his fighter. But it’s clear where his sentiment is at. With Silva transported to hospital following a TKO loss to Uriah Hall, however, the bigger news turned out to be about Israel Adesanya. Who White confirmed will fight Jan Blachowicz next, for the light heavyweight title.
“When the fight was over, on Fight Island, last fight, I was like ‘I’m going to have to sit down with this kid and convince him on why he needs to fight Whittaker,” White revealed. At UFC 254 last week, former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker defeated Jared Cannonier to insert himself back into the title conversation. “And Whittaker comes out and says he doesn’t want to fight him. Craziest sh*t I’ve ever seen. There’s no arguing with Israel now. I thought Whittaker deserved the shot, and Whittaker doesn’t want it, so yeah, we’ll let [Adesanya] wants it.”
Whittaker, to clarify, did not decline to fight Adesanya, or say he didn’t want the shot. However, he has a new baby on the way, and was aiming for a March or April return as a result.
That appears to be longer than the UFC is willing to wait. Although White could not specify a time frame for Adesanya vs. Blachowicz.
When it was pointed out that “The Last Stylebender” moving to light heavyweight would leave fans wanting to see Adesanya vs. Jon Jones, White replied “me too.”
The UFC President also revealed Saturday that super-fights between Anderson Silva and both Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones were never actually close to happening.
“Never. GSP didn’t want that fight,” said White. “We had these deals where, at the time, Anderson Silva was in a very unique position. He could have gone down and fought Georges St-Pierre, they could have maybe come up with a catchweight, or [Silva] could have moved up, at a catchweight and did Jon Jones. Silva didn’t want to move up and fight Jones, and GSP didn’t want to move up and fight Silva.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 12 press conference with Dana White above.