Former UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva on Friday will take another major step towards his eventual return to the Octagon.
Silva took to Twitter Friday morning to announce Dr. Márcio Tannure cleared him to return to sparring for the first time since breaking his leg in a bout with current champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168 in December.
Tannure is the medical director for the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission.
Silva has recovered quickly from the gruesome injury that left most people cringing when it happened. Within a few weeks, he was walking without crutches, and then a short time later began individual workouts and even bag work.
UFC president Dana White has been hoping that Silva would return to the Octagon by the end of the year, but “the Spider” has been consistently saying that he intends to return in early 2015. He has been angling for a fight with Nick Diaz upon his return, hoping to coax the enigmatic fighter out of retirement.
Silva hasn’t fought since losing back-to-back bouts to Weidman, spending the past several months making a steady recovery from the injury.