UFC held a press conference for former middleweight champion Anderson Silva on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 14, 2014) in Brazil (video here).
"The Spider" is set to square off against Nick Diaz at UFC 183 in January and it has been nearly 10 months since he suffered a catastrophic leg injury against Chris Weidman back at UFC 168. An injury that required surgery and metal rods to be placed inside his right leg.
Many have questioned if his leg is ready for battle or if his leg attacks will ever return to the way they once were. But according to Silva, he has been making excellent progress and will be back to normal come fight night in January.
"The training sessions have been very good," said Silva, who also mentioned he won't be doing any interviews until UFC 183. "I've been able to execute all of my movements that I used to do. Right after I got injured and I recuperated and I started kicking, I didn't have a lot of strength. I lost the strength of my leg, which is normal. But now I am recuperating and I'm working with specific work to recuperate my strength in my leg. And every day that goes by, I am going back to my origins and being able to kick without any fear and I believe that on fight night I will be 100 percent."
As for the actual injury, Silva admitted, "It's not something I like to remember much." But having "total support from Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta)" along with his family and team, has allowed him to push through and make a full recovery.
"I went through the worst moments of my life," he said. "It was a lot of pain. The moment when I broke my leg. When I realized that I broke my leg I thought that my career was over. So many million things went through my mind. You might think that depression is not something serious, but I was depressed. I was very upset and if I didn't have the people that I had by my side then, maybe I would not have come back."
The former champion won 16-straight fights over the course of seven years in the UFC until getting knocked out by Chris Weidman at UFC 162 on July 6, 2013. That undefeated streak inside the Octagon was weighing heavily on him. Now he said he is going to be training like he always has, just with "less pressure now."
"I don't have all the pressure of seven or eight years winning," he said. "I just have to keep doing that. I believe the fight versus Nick Diaz is a great fight. Especially because he is going to be in the same position as I am. He's been for some time without fighting and I hope to have a good fight with him."
Silva was asked about Diaz and about the striking and boxing aspect of their upcoming match up at UFC 183 (details). He reminded the fan who asked the question that it was going to be an "MMA" fight against Diaz, before complimenting his opponent and saying what he plans to do on January 31st.
"He is just a specialist, " Silva said. "He has great jiu-jitsu. He fights well on his feet, great striking, and I'm going to train to have a beautiful fight for my fans. I hope to have a great return and get the victory."