Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is widely considered the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. He’s the Michael Jordan of MMA, or maybe Michael Jordan is the Anderson Silva of basketball.
In his last outing at UFC 168, Silva suffered a gruesome leg injury equally as graphic as Paul George’s recent leg-break during a U.S. national team basketball scrimmage game. 38 years old at the time, Silva’s fighting future was uncertain. Through all the recovery and rehabilitation, retirement never once entered the Brazilian’s mind.
“It never went through my mind to retire,” said Silva during a recent media conference call. “I’m just dying to return to the Octagon and the thing that I most love in my life.”
Silva’s fighting style is reliant on his agility, speed, and striking accuracy. His kicking ability is a major part of his offense. Whether he’ll be able to return to top form remains to be seen, but he asserts that he’ll be good as new when he faces Nick Diaz on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas.
“There’s been a lot of physical therapy. Right now it’s about 95-percent and improving. For the Diaz fight, it will be 100-percent,” the former titleholder told MMAWeekly.com.
While Silva exudes confidence, a tiny bit of doubt seems to linger.
“There are no limitations. I’m not kicking as hard as I usually do, but I’m waiting to kick hard until the day of the fight.”