There is still no concrete date set for Anderson Silva's return to the Octagon, but it appears "The Spider" certainly will fight again under the UFC banner.
This news was confirmed by UFC President Dana White on Tuesday when he addressed the issue on ESPN's SportsCenter. White suggested the pound-for-pound great would be fighting at the end of the year or in early stages of 2015, and while there wasn't a clear timeline specified, the UFC's front man solidified the former middleweight king would definitely be returning.
The Brazilian striking phenom has been on the sidelines since suffering a gruesome leg injury in the second round of his rematch with Chris Weidman at UFC 168 last December. At 39 years old and facing a lengthy recovery from a severe bone break, doubt of the former champion's return to the Octagon lingered heavily in the immediate aftermath of the injury.
Dana White believes Anderson Silva to come back by end of year or beginning of next.— UFCONFOX (@UFCONFOX) April 23, 2014
Nevertheless, those clouds began to lift several weeks into the new year, as Silva's rehabilitation took off much quicker than previously imagined. The precision-knockout artist posted pictures on social media of his jiu-jitsu sessions just nine weeks after having surgery to repair the damaged bone. Silva has continued to post training photos throughout his recovery, and each offering has further stirred expectation for his comeback.
While the uncertainty surrounding his career coming to an end due to injury appears to be coming to a close, there are still several questions hanging in the balance. Silva was the most dominant champion in UFC history, and it will be interesting to see if he will be aiming to make a run back to title contention in his return or if he shifts his focus to landing several big fights before his time under the UFC banner comes to a close.
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.