Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will return to action at UFC 183 on the 31st of January 2015, in what will be his first fight since his duo of losses against Chris Weidman. “The All-American” snatched the title from “The Spider” at UFC 162 with a shocking knockout, and Silva suffered a nasty broken leg in the rematch at UFC 168. Now he is slated to face former Strikeforce welterweight champion and controversial figure Nick Diaz.
With Silva sat out for all of 2014, the middleweight division has been moving very quickly. Now set to make his third title defense, Weidman will face Silva’s countryman Vitor Belfort at UFC 184 in Los Angeles, California. Speaking with Globo, and translated by FOX Sports, “The Spider” picks “The Phenom” for victory against Weidman:
“Vitor is the UFC fighter that has been around for longest,” he said “He became a champ when he was 19 years old and deserves this opportunity to fight for the belt again. I believe that he’ll win. This belt is Brazil’s.”
Silva actually had a pretty heated rivalry with Belfort before they fought at UFC 117, and it ended spectacularly. “The Spider” put his fellow Brazilian away with a highlight reel front kick to the jaw, in what would be Silva’s third-to-last defense of his long-held middleweight strap. According to Silva, he will no longer fight a Brazilian for a title in the future, but would fight for the belt if a certain American was still champ:
“I’m at another phase,” he said. “If I have the chance to fight for the title again against Weidman or another fighter other than a Brazilian, I would fight for sure.”
Silva was certain he would never fight for a belt again full stop after the first Weidman fight, but was determined to just come back to fighting after he broke his leg. The recent months have seen the former kingpin flip-flop between wanting after his glory days, and just being happy to get in the octagon and entertain the fans.
So which version of Anderson Silva will we see upon his return from a 13-month sit? Furthermore, will age have started to catch up to the now 39-year old legend?