It appears that Anderson Silva’s surgically repaired elbow will keep him on the sidelines longer than expected as his manager, Ed Soares, states his client will not be available to participate at UFC 108 against Vitor Belfort.
“The latest is he’s not fighting January 2nd,” Soares told MMAJunkie. “That’s not going to happen. He won’t be ready.”
“The Spider” went under the knife earlier this month to have bone spurs removed from his right elbow. Although the procedure went well, the rehab will require more time than anticipated and he won’t be able to defend his middleweight strap inside the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vagas.
As to when MMA fans can expect to see Silva back inside the Octagon, Soares wouldn’t commit to a specific timeline, as much of his return will depend on how well his elbow continues to respond to the rehabilitation process.
“We have to wait and see,” Soares told the site. “Anderson went back to Brazil, and he’s continuing his physical therapy there. But there’s no set date yet.
“Anderson’s recovery is going really, really well. He’s coming back, and his recovery is doing really good. His physical therapy is going really well. He’s getting better range of motion. He’ll be back 100 percent for sure.”
Silva is currently riding an 11-fight winning streak and was last seen slapping Forrest Griffin upside his melon at UFC 101. Before Belfort’s arrival, Silva has had a tough time finding 185-pound competition that would keep him motivated and hungry.
Speaking of motivated, Belfort, a former UFC light heavyweight champ himself, must have had a shot of adrenaline injected into his system after he was informed by UFC president Dana White that he had earned himself a shot at Silva’s strap following his impressive 1stRound knockout of Rich Franklin at UFC 102.
Soares doesn’t know if the UFC will postpone the matchup until Silva is good to go, as White seems hellbent on making this scrap happen, or if they’ll find a different opponent for Belfort. Soares is confident that the Brazilian battle will still go down, even though he reiterated that Belfort isn’t deserving.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to be a great fight,” Soares said. “Like I said before, I don’t think [Belfort] deserves a title shot, but that’s over with now. It is what it is.
“Whoever the UFC puts in front of us, we’ll fight. We’ve never picked our opponents. I think it’s going to be Vitor when Anderson comes back. That’s what I’m assuming.”
Here are the fighters rumored to be fighting in the pay-per-view broadcast:
Cole Miller vs. Dan Lauzon
Joe Lauzon vs. Sam Stout
Mark Munoz vs. Ryan Jensen
Martin Kampmann vs. Rory Markham
Tyson Griffin vs. Jim Miller
Carlos Condit vs. Paul Daley
Junior Dos Santos vs. Gabe Gonzaga
Thiago Silva vs. Rashad Evans
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Lyoto Machida (UFC Light Heavyweight Champion)
Shane Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar (UFC Heavyweight Champion)