by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The champ is coming back.
Anderson Silva, arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, is healthy after having elbow surgery and will be ready for an April showdown against Vitor Belfort at UFC 112, according to his manager, Ed Soares.
While a guest on MMAWeekly Radio recently, Soares broke the news that Silva is indeed training and will be ready for an April return after last fighting in August 2009.
“I believe that’s what it’s going to be. It’s going to be April, him against Vitor,” Soares said.
“He’s back training all the time. He’s doing really well. Just rehabbing the elbow and trying to get the full range of motion and everything, but he’s feeling well enough to train, and his training’s been going really well.”
The elbow injury that Silva has endured is more than just a recent problem. According to his manager, Silva has been dealing with the pain in his elbow for some time, and it was just to the point where surgery was the only answer.
“The elbow has been bothering him for a long time and that’s part of the reason that we just had to go ahead and do it because it wasn’t getting any better, and the longer that those fragments stayed there, it was other potential damage that those fragments were creating,” said Soares.
Now that the champion is healed, it’s on to the business of fighting Vitor Belfort. His fellow Brazilian returned to the UFC last year and knocked out former middleweight champion Rich Franklin in a 195-pound catchweight bout to earn the shot at Silva’s title, but Soares says he still believes Belfort should have had to do a little bit more.
“I think Vitor’s a very exciting fighter. He’s a very dangerous fighter. I think this is a fight that the world will definitely want to see. I still don’t believe Vitor deserves a title shot yet at 185 pounds. That’s how I felt, that’s how I feel about it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe it’s going to be a great fight,” he commented.
“I just felt that he hadn’t even fought one time at 185 pounds in the UFC. Granted, he has fought in other organizations at 185 pounds, and he’s the ex-light heavyweight champ at one time. I’m aware of all those things. For the most part I just felt he didn’t deserve the shot right away. That’s in the past now, he’s fighting for the title, and that’s what we’re focused on. I do believe it’s going to be a great fight.”
Silva and Belfort will headline UFC 112 along with the lightweight title fight pitting champion B.J. Penn against top contender Frankie Edgar.
The show is currently set to take place in Abu Dhabi, but there has been recent speculation about whether or not the UFC will be able to coordinate a venue in time or have to move the show to another venue in another country.