Anderson Silva Admits to Lingering Ghosts from Gruesome Leg Injury, Retirement Closing In

September 8, 2014
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Anderson SilvaFormer UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has been physically cleared to train full force, as he sees fit. Silva also already has his return bout booked, as he’ll face Nick Diaz in a non-title fight at UFC 183 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.

SEE ALSO: Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Signed for Early 2015

The fight comes without the pressures of being a champion, and will be Silva’s first 185-pound non-title bout since he fought Travis Lutter at UFC 67 in 2007.

It does, however, come accompanied by the haunting memories of the pain and disappointment stemming from a gruesome broken leg suffered in his challenge of middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168 last December.

There is no physical pain, but Silva admits that fear lingers in his head.

“I feel no pain at all,” Silva said in a Portuguese interview with Fantastico, which was translated to English by “My strength is back because I’m back to training. The hardest part is self-confidence, to kick again as I used to.

“I’ve worked with a psychologist so I can get rid of the ghosts of those horrible moments of that fight, when I had that accident. I’m a little apprehensive in training. I know I can execute the movement, but I end up not doing it for fear.”

He realizes that, logically, his fear doesn’t make sense, but considering that when he last launched one of his normally devastating kicks in a fight, it was he who suffered the devastating results, the fear is understandable.

When Weidman checked Silva’s kick, the former champion’s lower leg snapped in two. Both his tibia and fibula broke and he was quickly rushed off to surgery, a titanium rod inserted in his lower leg.

SEE ALSO: Dana White’s Video Blog of Anderson Silva’s Gruesome Injury and Aftermath

“I won’t get hurt,” he continued. “I know I won’t get hurt, but fear is natural. I don’t want to feel that pain ever again. No way.”

As he works to rid his mind of the ghosts lingering in his head, Silva is also physically preparing for his return to the Octagon, and he intends to do so, at least for now, in Brazil.

While Silva has spent much time in recent years in the United States preparing for his bouts, he has longed for the comforts of his home country, and plans to train in Brazil as he regroups for the Diaz fight.

“I feel better training in Brazil,” he said. “So I can be at my 100 percent to return to fighting, I’d rather train in Brazil.”

While many people were surprised that Silva didn’t decide to retire following the devastating injury – he almost immediately declared that he would return – Silva now admits that his hunger for the UFC middleweight championship has subsided, and that he is nearing the final days of his career.

“I’m over this thing of being champion, having the title,” he said. “I don’t have patience for this. I think I’m closer to retirement every day.”

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  • The milkan

    I think he should retire if he feels like this. You can’t go into a fight afraid to fully commit to anything. He doesn’t want the belt but wants fun fights, I get that. But these fun fights I’m assuming aren’t necessarily easy fights. Just an opinion

  • TheCerealKiller

    Silva wins by KO, head kick.

    • rob

      hahahaha probably.

  • Tiny Thesportsguru

    This is a champion that faced, and literally destroyed every top contender in his path for years. The guy has absolutely nothing to prove, and actually enough brains left to enjoy his family. Unless money is an issue, I agree with Milkan. Silva should call ita day. He had an amazing career. The only thing left at this point to prove, is that father time does in fact live, and will catch you at one point.

    • Austin, TX

      I always though he was overrated. I always thought he had a lot to prove. He was a pick and choose champion. He turned down Shogun. Him and his management team (Ed Foares especially) balked at fighting Weidman for a long time at first. Dana basically made him. As he should have. He ruled over the 185 lbs division when it was the weakest division by far of the lot. His victories are over a who’s who list of 2nd tier fighters, nobodies and over the hill fighters. (He gladly accepts fights with people like Bonnar and Cote and Leites and James Irvin though. He wanted Bisping to challenge for the title also….very badly.) (No disrespect to those fighters or Bisping.)
      He will probably beat the pothead though. Then he’ll retire. He was never the greatest. There is no such thing. It’s purely subjective and relative. Like p4p lists.

      • natpaukar7

        I will admit to having a great Anderson Silva bias…I think he is the greatest…that said, I agree with some of the things that you said….he didn’t have the strongest guys in the world to fight…but he also, with the exception of chael who did NO damage, never struggled with anyone….so its not like he closely beat guys that weren’t great…he DESTROYED them with ease, that said again….I do believe he would have killed the following WITH EASE…please no haters it is only an opinion: Jon Jones, Fedor in his prime, vitor AGAIN, rockhold, personally i don’t think there is a man alive at any point in time that silva wouldn’t destroy in his prime….face teh facts he LET weidman win….

        • natpaukar7

          im referring to weidman silva 1…I believe Weidman had a mental advantage in their 2nd fight and it was a legit victory in Rd. 1 and hten an unfortuante win in rd. 2

          • Joe Dog

            No more for you!

        • Austin, TX

          he didn’t let weidman win dude, get real. 😉

        • Joe Dog

          Pass the joint, you’ve had enough.

      • brad

        LOL Are you even a fan of the UFC what have you been watching King Of The Cage?

        • Austin, TX

          Calling him the “greatest of all time’ was just Dana’s way of making more money. And a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon. Including yourself. Silva was never the GOAT. Now Dana is calling Barao the greatest of all time. And trust me, I am definitely a fan. The greatest is a subjective term thrown around all the time to seduce people unfamiliar with things and who fall for circus tactics. maybe like yourself? There is no such thing as the greatest, or if there is it’s Fedor. A man who is 2 inches smaller than Silva and who fought at HEAVYWEIGHT undefeated against the legend of the game for 10 YEARS on a 27 fight win streak. (I watched them.) Yes my friend, I am a fan.

      • TheCerealKiller

        Who has Diaz beat? Nobody, that’s who. I know you’re going to jump to say BJ Penn. BJ has been bad for years now. Who else?

        *I love comparing Diaz records, because he is the king of overrated.

        • Austin, TX

          I am not a Diaz fan. I think he will lose to Silva.

        • Joe Dog

          WTF are you blabbing about? Diaz beat all sorts of folks including Robbie Lawler. Just the same, I see Silva walking right through Diaz here.

          • TheCerealKiller

            He beat Lawler 10 years ago. That’s not even relevant to a fighters skills today.

      • Justin Creditble


        • Tiny Thesportsguru

          You don’t need to get your feelings hurt. But you have to do better than Shogun. maybe a fighter with a win streak would make a little sense. But to say someone picks and chooses opponents, then claims he dodges 50/50 fighters doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. As far as Weidman, don’t get me wrong, he is awesome. But I don’t think winning a title at a 9th total professional fight is any sign of dodging anyone. Does he deserve the title? Absolutely! The guy is a great champion, and will probably will be for a while.

          But Silva had a weak division, because he was good enough to make it look that way.. Belfort was seconds away from almost beating John Jones, yet Silva KO’d him easily. The majority of his fights looked like a walk in the park. His accomplishments are pretty remarkable.

          • Austin, TX

            Again, I stand by my comments. 😉

          • Tiny Thesportsguru

            I am glad you stand next to your comments. Just fyi, usually when someone posts something on the internet, that pretty much informs most of us of that.. But if you must keep insisting, please feel free, but I assure you, we get it.
            As far as the Hendo weight cut, yes I do agree with you. That was a bad decision on his part, but he accepted, and thought he had enough to win. Wrestlers are known for this. As far as the age, I am really beginning to wonder how much mma you really watch, to know that you are talking about? A year earlier, he completely destroyed Wanderlai Silva, who at the time was destroying everyone in his path (pride 33). Excluding a mistake in moving to heavyweight to fight Filipovic Crocop.

        • Austin, TX

          I stand by my comments. 😉

      • Tiny Thesportsguru

        The UFC chooses your fights, this isn’t a Mayweather or Pacman Boxing promotion. The Ice man, and Dana are great friends, and Dana still did not play favorite’s towards the end of chucks career. Silva would not be an acception. The below list are some of Silva’s accomplishments. I don’t see this bad at all. Sonnen at Middleweight was an animal. Okami, a legend. Belfort, the guy has been a serious threat since the beginning of ufc history, and again is fighting for a title. Griffin, an ultimate fighter winner, former champion, huge heart, and a step up in weight… Still KO’d in the first round. Rich Franklin was the UFC champion, and was so dominantly beaten, it could have compared to Gracie’s comeback against Matt Hugh’s. And Leben, maybe not the most skilled, but his heart was as dedicated as as Hollyfield in his prime, and Silva still completely outclassed him within seconds.

        As far as dodging Shogun, that one is new to me. I didn’t know Shogun was willing to move to middleweight. If even so, why would the fight happen? Shogun has not won even 2 straight fights since 2009. And in UFC, he has never won 3 in a row.

        And claiming he has been dodging Weidman is ridiculous. The guy has only been in the UFC since 2011. Getting a title shot with only 9 pro fights (6 in the UFC) in 2 years time is not too shabby.

        1. Steroid Sonnen twice
        2. Yushin Okami – redeemed loss
        3. Vitor Belfort
        4. Forrest Griffin
        5. Rich Franklin (young) twice
        6. Dan Henderson (young, fresh from pride)
        7. Chris Leban

        • Austin, TX

          hilarious. i guess we just disagree. 😉 Hendo? Hendo was an old man when they fought. He was 38 years old. Those other fighters are 2nd tier fighters at best. Hendo fights best at LHW and heavyweight. He said before the fight he had the crappiest weight cut he had ever had. His accomplishments are beating old Belfort and even older Hendo yes. He is not the GOAT. He is maybe number 4 or 5 or 6. He likes to challenge people like St Pierre. 4 or 5 inches smaller than him and 35-40 pound lighter. He also likes to challenge 45 year old boxers. He is a bully.

          • Austin, TX

            ANd he DID dodge weidman and had to be FORCED to take the fight. He kept wanting to fight Bisping instead of Weidman. He kept saying Weidman didn’t deserve a title shot and wasn’t a good fighter. Do some research man.

      • Joe Dog

        Silva had a few spectacular finishes that kept his stock high back in his heyday. Given the list of UFC middleweights today, I think he might make top ten but would have troubles with the likes of Rockhold, Machida, Souza, Mousasi, Kennedy, Romero and even Bisping. Little Nick Diaz on the other hand should be a walk in the park.

  • Miggs

    He will lose to Nick Diaz. Diaz is a better striker than Weidman. This means Diaz can dominate Silva. Silva and Diaz have similar fighting styles. But ultimately, Silva will lose to Diaz: Diaz is young and strong.

    • TheCerealKiller

      Diaz is a small 170, he will be a midget at 185. Silva will treat him like Ray Rice’s wife.

      • asd

        LOLWUT? Diaz is a giant 170. Their size is almost identical, dude:
        Silva – 6’2″, 77″ reach
        Diaz – 6’1″, 76″ reach

        • TheCerealKiller

          Silva – 6’2″, 77″ reach
          Diaz – 6’1″, 76″ reach
          And Silva is carrying at least 15 pounds of more muscle. Hector Lombard is a huge 170, not Diaz.

          • Sir_Roy

            Diaz has a different shape. Long and lanky. Hard to compare against short and stocky and tout one as “bigger” than the other in a blanket sense of the term.

            More muscled, stockier, but shorter with less reach. Due to height and length, both Diaz and Carlos are fairly big welterweights despite appearing “skinny”.

          • TheCerealKiller

            You must think Cory Hill was a huge 155.

            Hopefully Diaz takes the extra time and puts on some muscle so he can at least make it a fight.

          • Sir_Roy

            I know he’s not carrying the same bulk as Silva. Yes, Diaz is smaller by a good 25lbs walk around weight. But he’s closer in size than GSP is.

          • TheCerealKiller

            Which is irrelevant to this fight.

          • Sir_Roy

            Not irrelevant insofar as saying he’s not as small as folks tend to promote. He’s a tall, lanky and therefore big welterweight who has fought at 185lbs in the past. He is not “dwarfed” by Silva at all.

          • TheCerealKiller

            You’re calling “big”height, I’m calling it muscle and power. We’re both right in our heads.

    • MuayThaiFood

      Diaz’s head will look like a sack of doorknobs after Silva is done with him.

      • Joe Dog

        I agree.

  • Yo Mama

    I bet they’re going to end up sucking each other off after the fight, Bruno style.

  • JoeDaniel

    Why would you call Anderson and Nick Diaz a non-title fight when neither fighter holds a title? Isn’t the definition of a non-title fight when one fighter is a champion but not defending the title? Like when Anderson fought Travis Lutter or Stephan Bonnar? lol

  • kale

    Heres my list of greats: fedor of course.. silva,rickson and royce gracie, frank shamrock, sakuraba, wanderlei silva, penn, and i gotta put hendo in there for winning belts in pride. You guys can hate on anderson silva but who didnt watch him kick vitor live and say wow this guy is the best.. i think fedor is the goat but silva has to be second. Who else can be second?

    • TheCerealKiller

      Good for your list of greats.

      Nothing to do with the article.

      Nobody cares.

      Go join Sherdog.

  • kale

    I think anderson vs diaz is the most exciting fight in years and im sure it will generate the most ppv numbers since lesner retired, and id bet money on that. The fight that would have been huge and i wish it had happened was silva vs lombard. That would have been huge! To bad

    • TheCerealKiller