Despite UFC middleweight champion claiming until recently that he was healthy and ready to fight before the end of the year, it appears that Silva’s title defense against top contender Vitor Belfort scheduled for UFC 108 on January 2nd, 2010 is in jeopardy.
Silva, who underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair chronic damage to his elbow last Monday, may not be completely healed from the surgery by that date. They hope to know more about Silva’s status after he meets with his doctor on Friday, and a final decision should be made in the next 10 days.
“They found some things that they weren’t aware of (during the surgery), which is a good thing,” Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, told MMAWeekly.com. “If we’re going to be fighting for the title, we want to make sure Anderson’s 100-percent.”
UFC President stated in an interview last September with MMAJunkie.com that he expected Silva to be on the shelf after the surgery.
“He’s having some bone spurs removed from his elbow, which is a simple little procedure that happens, but you’ve got to have recovery time,” White stated.
Despite White feeling that Vitor deserves the title shot against Silva, Silva’s camp disagrees. Silva’s camp feels that he should face the winner of a proposed bout between Nate Marquardt and Dan Henderson next, and that Belfort should have to fight at 185 lbs. before earning a title shot. Belfort fought Rich Franklin last month at UFC 103 at a catchweight of 195 lbs, and missed making weight on his first three attempts before finally being able to make it.
“Vitor has not fought in the UFC at 185 pounds,” Soares noted. “Now, I know people can say Anderson fought for the belt after one fight, and that’s true, but he fought at 185 pounds. At 195 pounds, he didn’t make weight, at first. So he couldn’t make weight at 195 pounds, but now he’s going to fight for the title at 185 pounds?”
Despite feeling that Belfort doesn’t deserve a title shot yet, Soares noted that they would love to do the fight at UFC 108 if Silva is cleared.
“It’s doctor’s decision,” Silva said. “My elbow is hurt, but doctor Chad says come back to training, come back to fight.”
UFC 108 takes place on January 2, 2010 from the the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stay tuned to FightLine.com for further updates on the event.