It’s hard to forget what put former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-6) in the hospital last time he was in the Octagon. But in case you did, here’s a snapshot of his snapped leg to remind you.
No, that’s not Photoshopped. That was Silva’s leg after his kick to opponent Chris Weidman (12-0) was blocked by Weidman’s left shin. Right after the above shot was taken, Silva’s foot, hanging limp from fractures to both the tibia and fibula bones, whipped around and Silva fell to the mat at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Screams of pain followed while Weidman was declared the UFC middleweight champion 1 minute, 16 seconds into the round.
Fast forward to today and Silva is doing much better after undergoing surgery to repair his leg. He’s ready to return.
“The greatest of all time, Anderson Silva, is back,” Dana White announced on ESPN late Tuesday. “Anderson Silva feels great. He’s facing a 13-month layoff — a lot of fighters are off 13 months before they fight next. He is 100 percent healthy, kicking again and chomping at the bit to get back in the Octagon.”
He’ll face Nick Diaz (26-9) in a 185-pound contest at UFC 183 in Las Vegas on Jan. 31. “We just literally made this fight five minutes ago,” White told ESPN. It will be the main event, and it will be five rounds.”
Although not a championship match, the battle has the potential to be one of the most-watched. Along with the much-anticipated return of Silva, Diaz will also be coming back after a long hiatus. He was last in the Octagon in March 2013 when he lost by unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre in a UFC welterweight championship fight. He had announced his retirement shortly after that.
“Nick Diaz is a very popular fighter as it is,” White told ESPN. “If he comes back and beats Anderson Silva, he could fight for the title. He’s right there.”