The recovery process has seemed nothing short of remarkable as former pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva continues to take the proper steps needed to get back into fighting shape.
Nearly five months ago, UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman snapped the then-38-year-old Silva's left fibula and tibia after checking a whipping leg kick in the second round at UFC 168.
Silva rehabilitated his gruesome injuries enough to begin light grappling in February and low-intensity bag work in April.
This month, however, "The Spider" has upped the stakes and begun picking up the pace with more high-intensity pad work with a trainer. Here's Silva's latest Instagram training video featuring heavier muay thai pad work.
"Next year, (I'm) back. (I'm) back for next year. This year, (I'm not) back (to) fight. I have my plans, I have my family. ... So next year, I don't know when, but next year."
However, considering that he has eight fights left on his contract and has repeatedly expressed a desire to square off in a boxing match with Roy Jones Jr., Silva's next opponent remains a mystery.
To make matters murkier, Silva expressed doubt regarding his plans to fulfill his current contract to SporTV (h/t MMATorch.com):
I have eight fights to do yet in my contract. I want to do all these fights but I don't know that I will be in the mood to do this. For now, I'm very excited, I'm going through a renovation phase. It's going to be nice for me do what I love when I be back to fighting.
In the meantime, Silva will do his best to help teammate and former UFC light heavyweight kingpin Lyoto Machida prepare for his title bout with Weidman at UFC 175 in July.
Silva reigned over the UFC's middleweight division from October 2006 to July 2013 before losing to Weidman at UFC 162. Prior to UFC 162, The Spider had racked up a 16-0 promotional record with a 10-0 mark in title fights.