Anderson Silva is ready for a new beginning at UFC 183. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Anderson Silva isn’t here to talk about the past.
While the most recent image of “The Spider” in the Octagon is of him shattering his leg against Chris Weidman at UFC 168, the onetime middleweight king is no longer interested in reliving that moment.
“This is [the] part of my life when I [don’t] talk [anymore] because my leg’s good now. I train hard now,” Silva said during a conference call to promote his UFC 183 headlining bout against Nick Diaz. “Everything is new. I don’t talk [anymore about] this, because this is the past.”
Silva will have been absent for more than a year when he meets Diaz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Jan. 31. For one of the sport’s pound-for-pound greats, it’s like starting all over again.
With that in mind, Silva is not concerned with capturing the title he initially lost to Weidman at UFC 162 and was unable to regain some six months later -- even if UFC President Dana White recently said a win over Diaz could propel the Brazilian to the front of the line.
“ I’m very happy to be back because I [didn’t] fight for one year. Now I’m very excited because it’s my legacy, it’s my dream,” he said. “The new Anderson’s back. ...The UFC gave me one more chance for showing my [skills].
“ My focus now is the fight with Nick,” he continued. “When I finish the fight with Nick [and] I win, I [will prepare] for the next level. But now I’m starting my career in the UFC. This is my first fight in the UFC in my mind.”
Silva made his UFC debut on June 28, 2006, knocking out “The Ultimate Fighter 1” veteran Chris Leben 49 seconds into their bout. He remained unbeaten for 16 straight fights and 10 title defenses within the Las Vegas-based promotion before falling to Weidman for the first time at UFC 162.
After undergoing emergency surgery on his broken leg following UFC 168, Silva eased his way back into training. Now, he says everything is back to normal.
“It’s the same training. When I start three months ago, I prepared my leg more because I lost power from my leg,” he said. “I went to physical therapy. But the training for the fight is the same. My normal training.”
Not that there haven’t been hiccups along the way. In November, Silva was hospitalized with a lower back injury suffered during jiu-jitsu training. A report at the time stated that the middleweight briefly experienced a loss of feeling in his legs. Silva was eventually diagnosed with pain in his lower lumbar region and released from the hospital the next day.
For someone rapidly approaching his 40th birthday, that could be a point of concern, but Silva says there have been no recurring issues since then.
“[There were] never more problems,” he said. “I’m good. I’m strong. I’m training hard. I train wrestling for the guys in here in my academy and so my back is great. Strong. I’m very, very, very prepared for the fight.”
Silva wants to make it clear that he is not returning to silence the critics who point to his last two losses and most recent injury as evidence that he should no longer be fighting. MMA is a labor of love, both for Silva himself and for those closest to him.
“I don’t care for the people who talk too much. I fight for a long time. I love my job,” he said. “...They don’t see my training. They don’t see when I’m training hard. ...When I go to fight, I go to fight because I like it. I fight for my fans, absolutely. First off, I fight for me and my family.”