When Anderson Silva suffered a gruesome broken leg in a rematch against Chris Weidman on Dec. 28, 2013, the idea of the 38-year-old accomplished veteran ever returning to the Octagon seemed unlikely.
Well, less than a month after that injury, UFC president Dana White is claiming "The Spider" will be back in action before the year is over.
Fox Sports' Marc Raimondi passes along the news:
If anyone can return from such a horrendous injury at 38 years of age, it's probably Silva, who is an otherworldly athlete. But at the same time, if there's anyone who could retire and have zero regrets, Silva would also slot at the top of that list.
Arguably the greatest MMA fighter ever, Silva captured the UFC Middleweight Championship back in 2006 when he knocked out Rich Franklin in the first round.
Following that victory, he proceeded to win 14 straight matches, helping him earn records for consecutive title defenses (10), consecutive UFC wins (16) and longest title reign (2,457 days).
Although he shockingly lost his title to Chris Weidman via second-round knockout and then suffered his injury during the rematch, Silva has absolutely nothing left to prove in this sport.
Of course, there has also been chatter of the long-time champion moving to the boxing ring and squaring off with 45-year-old Roy Jones Jr. Silva himself confirmed his desire to duke it out with RJ during a recent Facebook chat with fans, via MMAFighting.com:
"When I get better, that’s my biggest goal, especially because I won’t be able to fight MMA too soon," Silva said when asked if he still wants to fight Jones. "Fighting in boxing is in my plans, yes, as soon as I’m able to fight again. And Roy is a big idol."
It's an interesting proposal, as there would be far less risk in him taking a shot to his leg in a boxing match.
Still, while there are several possible routes still on the table—return to UFC; return to boxing; return to boxing and then return to UFC; flat-out retirement—Silva has a long road to recovery, and his future will likely be determined along that road.