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Dana White responds to Anderson Silva's claim that he's several fights away from title shot

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Esther Lin

Dana White has said that a victory over Nick Diaz in UFC 183's main event Saturday night would put former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in line for a shot at the belt he held for nearly seven years.

Silva himself is unconvinced, as he stated last week that he is "2-3 fights away" from a title shot, but added "this is Dana's decision."

On Thursday, White, presented with Silva's retort, basically said we're going to have to wait and see what happens at the MGM Grand on Saturday before deciding whether Silva will meet the winner of the Feb. 28 bout between champion Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort.

"I think that on Saturday night, we'll see where he's at," White said in an interview on FOX Sports 1. "He's an absolute professional, he's done everything he needs to do to prepare for this fight. He's back in shape, I think it's just a mental thing, he has to get out there and see how he feels."

That said, White also believes that if Silva feels he needs to take on other bouts before going after the championship, chances are he's going to cross paths with a fellow Brazilian along the way, despite Silva's stated desire to avoid fighting his countrymen.

"I don't think he needs 3-4 fights to get back to the title," White said. "But if he feels that way, he's the No. 1 ranked guy in the world, he can fight Jacare Souza, he can fight Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero ... He starts getting very limited when he doesn't want to fight Brazilians or other guys. Three of the top guys in the world are Brazilian. Anderson always has some crazy things to say before the fight."