Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will finally return to the Octagon when he faces trash talk king Nick Diaz in the main event of January 31’s UFC 183, but his long-awaited comeback was nearly derailed by a scary lower back injury suffered in training.
Although the ailment proved to be nothing serious enough to affect his bout with Diaz, Silva spoke up at yesterday’s “The Time Is Now” press conference to state that while he’s back to full health, he was simply overtraining in an effort to get back to the cage (quotes transcribed by MMA Junkie):
“I’m good now. When I go to the academy for training, I train too much. My coach said, ‘Stop Anderson now. You’ve trained too much.’ Then when I finished my training, (I had a) little pain in my back. I go to the hospital, and the doctors said, ‘Anderson, you don’t have nothing. Go home.
I go home, and I’m waiting for my fight now. I’m very good. I don’t have any problems. My leg’s good, my back’s good, and I’m very excited to be back.”
With a clean bill of health following his brutal broken leg stemming from his UFC 168 rematch with champion Chris Weidman, Silva appears anxious to once again fight for his fans.
His family may have wanted him to step down from fighting, but at the end of the day, “the Spider” felt he simply owed it to his fans to come back and do what he does best:
“My kids says, ‘Dad, please. No back.’ I say, ‘I need to go back because this is part of my life, is to fight, it’s part of my life. Then my wife and my kids say, ‘OK, Dad. If you’re happy, go back.’ Thank you to Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta). I’m very excited for back and to fight for my fans. I need to give back to my fans in the United States, my fans in the world, and what they give me.”
Silva has the attitude of a true champion who respects his fans and what they have given him during his lengthy title run, and if expectations prove true in late January, his fight with Diaz should be another classic. Silva knows that Diaz strives to put on exciting fights every time out to the Octagon, and that has him training hard to put on a good show:
“I’ve very excited to fight Nick because Nick has great fights in UFC. I’m training very hard for my fight with Nick Diaz, and I’m very excited to be back.”
The world of MMA is excited to have him back, and all eyes will be on Silva when he steps into the cage to face Diaz, who will also come in off of a long layoff.
There are a ton of question marks about Silva’s ability to return to the dangerous form he once exhibited, as his striking was heavily based on Muay Thai and low kicks. But if he gets by Diaz in impressively as most are predicting him to do, he could be headed for another title shot.
Will 2015 see “The Spider” return to the peak of the UFC mountain; or will we unfortunately witness a continued decline?
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea for USA TODAY Sports