The end of UFC 168 left a lasting image in the minds of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans everywhere. There was Anderson Silva, the man who ruled the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight division, writhing in pain on the ground after his shin snapped in half following an attempted leg kick.
Silva hoped to regain his UFC middleweight title from the man who beat him, Chris Weidman. Weidman shocked the world at UFC 162 when he scored a second round knockout to take the title from Silva.
Silva was taken out of the Octagon on a stretcher and brought to a local Las Vegas hospital to undergo emergency surgery. The surgery was a success, though Silva will be sidelined 6 months before ever thinking about returning to the gym.
According to his coach Pedro Rizzo, "The Spider" has already made up his mind to return to fighting once he's all healed up. Rizzo spoke with MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz about Silva's injury.
"At the hospital, Anderson told me ‘I will be back, master. I will be back,'" Rizzo told MMAFighting.com. "I told him ‘yeah, you'll be back home to recover and rest'. And he said 'I will be back, master.' He's a fighter. He has six months to recover, heal and then decide what he's going to do next.
"He has everything to come back to fighting if he wants. He has a good head to handle all the pressure from the UFC through all these years. Anderson will decide that. He just broke a leg, he has a lot of things to think now. He has nothing left to prove inside the Octagon. But if he decides to fight again, we will be there to help him."
It may be a bit premature to start discussing a possible return for Silva. While he clearly has the heart of a fighter, these kinds of injuries have left athletes waking up with pain every day.
If he does return, hopefully it will be his own decision and no one else's.