Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight superstar Anderson Silva has revealed he won't sight at UFC 212 in Rio De Janeiro on June 3 after scheduled opponent Kelvin Gastelum failed a drug test.
The Spider made the announcement in a live Instagram post on Sunday, and Brazilian outlet UOL (h/t MMA Junkie) provided a transcript of the mixed martial arts legend's announcement:
“I really wanted to fight in Brazil, my country, but it’s not going to happen. I want to apologize for this. I really wanted to fight here, but it didn’t happen. I think I was hurt in this, but that’s it.”
MMA Junkie previously reported that Gastelum had tested positive for marijuana on the day of his UFC Fight Night 106 bout against Vitor Belfort in Fortaleza, Brazil in March, which he won via TKO in the first round.
That win was then overturned and the fighter served a 90-day suspension, which resulted in Gastelum issuing a statement over any future potential bouts in Brazil:
Suspension accepted, but i will NEVER fight in Brazil again. All they want is $$$$2017-5-7 21:00:12
The only positive to come from Gastelum and Silva's June fixture falling apart is the latter—now 42 years of age—has the opportunity to chase down the fights he wants.
Speaking to The MMA Hour's Ariel Helwani, Silva recently reiterated his hope to set up an interim middleweight championship bout opposite fellow contender Yoel Romero:
Anderson Silva says if he doesn't get an interim title fight with Yoel Romero, he's retiring. Should UFC book the fight? #TheMMAHour https://t.co/Fjss4bBsMW2017-5-2 00:30:05
UFC 212 still has a stellar main event to look forward to, with interim UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway set to take on Jose Aldo, who reclaimed his featherweight title after former holder Conor McGregor relinquished ownership of it.
The South American superstar brought a five-fight winless streak to its end after he defeated Derek Brunson by unanimous decision at UFC 208 in February.
Given his age, Silva may not have many fights left at the elite level in mixed martial arts, meaning it's even more important he doesn't waste time with unfinished camps and gets back down to business in the Octagon.