UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva’s manager and translator, Ed Soares, recently spoke with MMAWeekly.com about the champion’s recover from a rib injury sustained during his most recent title defense, against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117. Soares also commented on the news that, due to Sonnen’s recent positive performance enhancing drug test, Vitor Belfort will be stepping up as Silva’s next challenger. Props to CagePotato.com for the transcription.
“His rib is stil very tender. They’re very sore,” Soares said when asked of the status of Silva’s ribs. “That’s what I’m talking to him about. It’s still a bit sore, but it’s healing up. It’s still not 100 percent. He needs to be training at least 10 weeks with his ribs not being hurt. It’s still tender and it really hurts [him] to throw knees and stuff like that,” Soares explained. “I think at this point, we don’t know what date it’s going to be. It’s definitely going to be some time next year. We just don’t know if it’s going to be January first or SuperBowl weekend.”
Belfort and Silva were scheduled to fight at UFC 112 this past April but “The Phenom” was forced to pull out of the bout with a shoulder injury, forfeiting his chance at a title shot. He was set to face fellow top contender Yushin Okami this November but has been replaced in that bout by Nate Marquardt so that he may finally get his shot at Silva’s title. Soares said that he and his client are happy with the opponent switch but will gladly take on anyone who earns the shot.
“Great. It doesn’t make a difference,” Soares said. “Whoever they put in front of us…like I said, 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. Vitor’s a very technical fighter — very well rounded; I think it’ll be a fight that the fans will enjoy.”
It is being rumored that Silva will likely make his return on an as-yet-unannounced UFC card to take place this February 6th in conjunction with the Super Bowl; how well his rib injury recovery goes will determine if he makes his return on that card, the UFC’s annual New Year’s Eve show, or another date.