The UFC may have served up a new opponent for middleweight champ Anderson Silva, but that doesn’t change the fact his pre-UFC 117 rib injury is still causing him quite a bit of discomfort. Despite an extended 48 day layoff, the planet’s deadliest assassin still isn’t firing on all cylinders.
“His rib is still very tender, it’s still very sore,” Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, told MMAMania.com. “That’s what I am talking to him with right now. It’s still a little bit sore. It’s healing up, but it’s still not 100 percent.
Following his miraculous come-from-behind victory over alleged testosterone abuser Chael Sonnen, the champ revealed he had severely injured his ribs just six days before showtime. Based off the chatty challenger’s popular comedy tour and solid performance against Silva, Sonnen was granted an immediate rematch once the Brazilian healed. Now that Sonnen is facing a year-long suspension courtesy of his failed drug test, Vitor Belfort slides for a shot at the crown.
Although the adversary has changed, it hasn’t affected Team Spider’s approach towards defending their throne.
“It doesn’t make a difference. Whoever they put in front of us,” Soares matter-of-factly stated. “Like I’ve said before, we have never chosen who our opponents are. Whoever the UFC offers, we’re fine with. If it’s Vitor, then great, it’s Vitor. He’s a very technical fighter, very well rounded. I think it will be a fight the fans will enjoy.”
And when exactly do you anticipate fanatics will be able to witness the shootout?
“[Anderson] needs to be training with at least 10 weeks with his ribs not being hurt,” Soares said. “They’re still tender, it really hurts to throw his knees and stuff like that. At this point, we don’t know what date it’s going to be yet.
“It’s definitely going to be next year. We’re just not sure whether it’s going to be January 1st or the Super Bowl.”
Based off the pace at which Silva is recovering, it appears the NFL’s biggest weekend will likely host the highly anticipated showdown.