While the recovery from a recent elbow surgery is going just fine for UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva, Jan. 2 will simply be too soon for him to return to action.
(www.mmajunkie.com) today spoke with Silva's manager, Ed Soares, who issued the update on "The Spider."
"The latest is he's not fighting Jan. 2," Soares said. "That's not going to happen. He won't be ready."
Silva recently had bone spurs removed from his right elbow, and the rehabilitation necessary following the procedure means Silva won't be ready to defend his title in a proposed UFC 108 matchup with Vitor Belfort.
As for when Silva will be ready to fight again, Soares said nothing is yet certain.
"We have to wait and see," Soares said. "Anderson went back to Brazil, and he's continuing his physical therapy there. But there's no set date yet."
But Soares insisted the progress was ahead-of-schedule, and Silva fans have no cause for concern.
"Anderson's recovery is going really, really well," Soares said. "He's coming back, and his recovery is doing really good. His physical therapy is going really well. He's getting better range of motion. He'll be back 100 percent for sure."
While he's not sure exactly when Silva will again step into the octagon, Soares assumes Belfort will still be the opponent on the opposite side of cage.
"I think it's going to be Vitor when Anderson comes back," Soares said. "That's what I'm assuming."
And though Soares has openly questioned the UFC's decision to grant Belfort a middleweight title shot despite the fact that he has yet to fight in the organization at 185 pounds, Silva's manager said he and his fighter are now looking forward to the test.
"At the end of the day, it's going to be a great fight," Soares said. "Like I said before, I don't think [Belfort] deserves a title shot, but that's over with now. It is what it is.
"Whoever the UFC puts in front of us, we'll fight. We've never picked our opponents."
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John Morgan is the lead staff reporter for MMAjunkie.com.