Anderson Silva Slams 'Almighty' Dana White, Says He 'Shot Himself in the Foot'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 10, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 08:   (R-L) UFC President Dana White and Anderson Silva speaks to the media at the post fight press conference inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 8, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

UFC legend Anderson Silva has criticized the promotion's "almighty" president, Dana White, after he was removed from the UFC 212 card following opponent Kelvin Gastelum's withdrawal. 

The Spider said White "shot himself in the foot," because he feels the UFC will now need to book a fight between middleweights Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero—not current opponent Georges St-Pierre.

Speaking in a live Instragram stream (h/t Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting), Silva declared:

"Now the almighty one, who everybody knows who it is, has to calm down and put Yoel Romero to fight. 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 No. 1 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."

"In a way, I helped a fellow fighter, and I think that's what we should do. It's not about cursing at Dana White or fighting the (UFC brass). It's not. It's using what they are doing to us back against them. Dana, the almighty, shot himself in the foot."

The 42-year-old was scheduled to fight Gastelum at UFC 212 on June 3 before his American foe was suspended by the company, having tested positive for marijuana on the day of his win over Vitor Belfort in March.

Silva continued by insisting that he does not have a personal grudge with White, but he went on to suggest the UFC chief does not hold the greatest of sympathies for the fighters who make the promotion what it is:

"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."

The Instagram post concluded with Silva reminding those watching that "the UFC is not a sport. MMA is a sport. The UFC is just a brand that produces MMA fights."

He also signed off the live stream saying: "One for all, all for one." 

This isn't the first time this year Silva has suggested he may be in support of a fighters' union, having hinted to MMA Fighting in February that mixed martial artists need to band together in the professional era:

The veteran first fought under the UFC's banner in June 2006, beating Chris Leben in what was a major turning point in the career of arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

Meanwhile, Silva has spoken of a desire to fight top middleweight contender Romero himself, and he recently told The MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani just how far he was willing to go in order to book the bout:

MMAFighting.com @MMAFighting

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/Fjss4bBsMW

White may not take kindly to what is probably Silva's most aggressive questioning of his character to date, and fans will be aggrieved if the tirade upsets the latter's chance of booking future UFC fights.

Many will hope Silva's premonition of a meeting between Bisping and Romero comes to fruition, although with a bout opposite St-Pierre already booked for the Brit, he may prefer to prioritize the megafight that's already in front.