"I haven't been fighting for a year because of injuries to my back, but I came to work (tonight). [The Octagon] is the place where I belong. I felt 1000 percent. He came ready, but my camp was incredible. And that's what is shows right there. I felt like I could have done what ever I wanted. Every second I tried to finish that fight ... I tried real hard.... My intention [at the end of the fight] was to try and distract him and get the knockout. I was trying to make him lose his patience, lose his cool, so I could finish him.... After a year not fighting in the Octagon, you lose your place [in the division]. I'm back. I know my place and I'm going to go back to the top."
-- Light heavyweight powerhouse Thiago Silva talks to Ariel Helwani after smashing Brandon Vera at UFC 125 last night en route to a unanimous decision win. The Brazilian -- who had not competed in exactly a year -- declares that he is finally healthy after back injuries sidelined him for all of 2009. And if last night's performance is any indication, he ain't lying ... at all. Silva, always the aggressor, never backed down and looked utterly mean, slinging strikes with bad intentions. Look no further than Vera's disfigured nose for proof that he is indeed back. But is here to stay or is the crowded and talent-rich 205-pound division just too much for even Silva to power though after such a long layoff? Who can stop him?