Following his successful but criticized title defense over Demian Maia on Saturday at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva will remain at 185-pounds and will face challenger Chael Sonnen in his next fight, UFC President Dana White announced Wednesday during an interview on ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning.
White added that he had a 45-minute conversation with Silva following his UFC 112 win, which saw him taunt Maia early in the bout before largely refusing to engage in the second half of the fight, to discuss his antics and said if he acts the same way again the UFC will release him.
“If (Silva) ever acts like that again, I will cut him,” White said. “I don’t care if he’s the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. I don’t care if he’s the middleweight champion. I will cut him.”
Silva (26-4) has won a UFC-record 11-straight fights inside the Octagon, including a first-round knockout of Forrest Griffin at light heavyweight in August, but has disappointed in his recent title defenses, while Sonnen (24-10-1) earned a shot at the title by scoring a unanimous decision over fellow contender Nate Marquardt in February for his third-straight win.
The UFC teased a potential matchup between Silva and welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre during UFC 112, but Silva’s antics have cost him the fight for now and he’ll instead remain at middleweight for the time being.
Also in the appearance, White defended the UFC’s decision to deny rumors of Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin, saying that the UFC was obligated not to leak information on The Ultimate Fighter but had to announce the fight once tickets for UFC 115 went on sale this week.