While top contenders question whether or not UFC middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva is really injured, UFC president Dana White asserts that the champ’s injury is real.
“He’s not faking anything,” said White following the UFC 140 post-fight press conference on Dec. 10.
Middleweight and light heavyweight contender Dan Henderson recently stated that Silva “won’t fight.”
“There’s only one fight that I’d probably fight at 185, and he won’t fight right now I guess. That’s Anderson,” Henderson said at UFC 139 pre-fight press conference.
Top middleweight contender Chael Sonnen outright accused Silva of ducking a rematch with him and alleged that the shoulder injury that has sidelined Silva is a fabrication.
“I don’t believe Anderson is hurt. I know he says he’s hurt then he’s at training camp with Wanderlei [Silva]; they got caught on tape. He just got done working out with [Lyoto] Machida; they got caught on tape,” commented Sonnen.
“Yeah, I think he’s ducking me. I think he’s ducking Dan Henderson. I don’t know that he’d be eager to fight Bisping… but no, I don’t think he’s hurt,” added Sonnen.
Silva holds submission wins over both Henderson and Sonnen.
Following Silva’s UFC 134 win over Yushin Okami in August, he was reported to have bursitis in his shoulder that would require time off to heal. He was expected to return in early 2012 and a rematch with Sonnen was in the works for Super Bowl weekend. The injured shoulder turned out to be worse than expected, forcing Silva out of action until summer 2012.
“People don’t realize how old that guy really is. 37 years old and still doing what he does. Everybody is like, he’s faking this shoulder injury. He’s (expletive) 37 years old. Believe me, he’s not faking anything. He’s not faking (expletive) at 37, believe me,” stated the UFC president.
Sonnen faces Mark Munoz on Jan. 28 in Chicago on the UFC on FOX 2 fight card to determine the No. 1 contender in the middleweight division. The winner will face Anderson Silva when the champion is healthy enough to return.