Ed Soares: I wouldn't say Chris Weidman beat Anderson Silva, but he won the fight and should be respected

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Anderson Silva is out with one of the worst injuries ever sustained inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon. Since suffering a broken leg at UFC 168 in Las Vegas, Nevada, a who's-who of people at the core of "The Spider's" inner circle have speculated about what the future holds for the former middleweight champion. In an interview released this week, Silva's manager, Ed Soares, expects his top client to return.

The greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter of all time -- who recently lost his last two fights -- Anderson Silva, currently resides on the shelf due to the gruesome nature of the injury he sustained against current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Following his broken leg, news had sprinkled in from numerous sources regarding the rehabilitation of "The Spider." Now, a man at the forefront of Silva's regime, manager and close friend Ed Soares, has weighed in, confirming that his longtime client is indeed looking to return to action.

From The Hollywood MMA:

"I do think he'll make a full recovery and I do think he'll be back. I haven't lost any belief in Anderson Silva, I believe in him just as much now as I always have, I still think he's the greatest fighter of all time and hats off to Chris Weidman, he beat Anderson Silva twice."

The head cheese at Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) also gave his opinion on whether or not Weidman's victory should appear with an asterisk due to the way it all went down in December at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

"Regardless, he won the fight. I wouldn't say he beat him, but he won the fight. He won the competition and you have to congratulate him -- what he's done nobody's ever been able to do, one of them is knock out Anderson Silva and the other thing is beat Anderson Silva twice. Nobody's ever done that, so congratulations to him. Regardless if it's [way he won] controversial people are going to say things and yeah there's something [the injury] but at the end of the day he went out there and won the fight. He should be respected -- he was counted out both times. Chris Weidman should be respected."

He should be respected, but is he? For some, the second victory over Silva did nothing to add conclusive evidence to the case that the New Yorker has Silva's number.

Like Silva himself.

One thing is for certain, if Vitor Belfort comes into his encounter with "All-American" without respect (or a testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) exemption) for what the 29-year-old is capable of, he could end up getting served.

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