While UFC President Dana White had previously claimed that Anderson Silva may fight within 12 months of the catastrophic leg-break he suffered at UFC 168, "The Spider" is not as unrealistically hopeful. Rather, Silva is focusing on recuperating and targeting a return in 2015.
"These rumors that I’ll fight at UFC 181 or any other event around that date aren’t true," he told Combate (translated by MMAFighting's Guilherme Cruz). "This year is over for me. There’s a chance I’ll fight in the first half of 2015."
That wasn't the only thing Silva said about his fighting future, though.
He also suggested that his days as champion are definitely behind him. "Anderson’s phase as the champion is over...Fighting for (the title) is a little far away from me," he said.
Silva famously suffered a terrible injury at UFC 168, breaking his shin over Chris Weidman's knee while attempting a leg kick. He underwent immediate surgery following the injury and has been steadily recovering since.
Still, White telling The Jim Rome Show that Silva could return to the cage by the end of 2014 was always absurdly optimistic. While Silva has been keeping fans well-informed in regards to his recovery, intermittently posting videos of himself walking down stairs and grappling, hardcore training still seems far out of reach.
Not only that, but even if Silva recovered in the immediate future, it takes a long while to book fights involving The Spider. For the sake of reference, Corey Hill suffered a similar leg injury at UFC Fight for the Troops 1 in December 2008. He returned to action in January 2010.
Regardless, Silva seems committed to making a return to the UFC and the promotion will undoubtedly welcome him back with open arms.