At UFC 168 in December of 2013, Anderson Silva, once undefeated MMA middleweight champion of the UFC, suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in sports history, shattering his leg against the shin of competitor Chris Weidman. The injury not only led to Silva's second consecutive defeat to the now UFC middleweight champion but also led to a longtime layoff from the sport itself.
Currently, Silva and his trainers expect "The Spider" to return to the octagon in 2015, with his manager Ed Soares saying, "He's definitely coming back. He's feeling good, he's training hard. Everything is good, man. Hopefully we'll see him back. We won't see him back any earlier than the end of this year or, most likely, the beginning of next year. There's always a chance (he comes back in 2014), but as of right now I think his mind is set on fighting at the beginning of next year."
However, when Silva returns to the octagon, revenge for his two losses against Weidman is the furthest thing from his mind:
Rematch with Chris Weidman is something that is not in my plans. He already defeated me twice, everybody saw this. Lyoto (Machida) has an opportunity to fight him, we also have ‘Jacare' (Souza), who's coming and looking for his way. Let's root for them to get their space in the UFC and get their shot at the title, win it, become great champions and bring big wins for Brazil.
If not Weidman, then who? Apparently, "The Spider" wants his next victim to be the Stockton Slugger himself, Nick Diaz.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 30, 2014
Silva is not the only person who wants to see him weigh-in across from Diaz. Diaz, himself, has been asking for the match-up since at least October of 2012. Soares, Silva's manager, believes that the match-up has potential as well:
There's Michael Bisping, there's Cung Le. Even Nick Diaz. Nick Diaz has said he's wanted to fight him before. Nick Diaz wanted to box Roy Jones Jr. You could argue that Nick Diaz and Anderson probably have some of the best boxing in MMA, so we'll see what happens.
Whatever the decision, one thing is certain - Whoever matches up against Silva should still be scared, regardless of his two recent defeats at the hands of Weidman.
"Quitting is taking an eternal defeat. In Team Nogueira, we never give up - strength, honor and determination are fundamental. Here at Team Nogueira, we are family. Ready and determined to do that, we have to do. Never give up and never surrender. Believe that we can and like you too - believe that you can, exceed your limits, overcome problems, and believe," stated Silva.
Image via YouTube