Anderson Silva has told Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White that he wants to fight again.
The Brazilian had ruled the UFC’s middleweight division as champion from October 2006 until July. He broke his left leg in gruesome fashion in a Dec. 28 bout, when new champion Chris Weidman blocked Silva’s kick with his left shin, ending the Las Vegas fight in the second round.
“Oh, yeah, he told me he wants to still fight,” White said Monday after announcing on ESPN that San Diego’s Dominick Cruz suffered a groin tear and will vacate his 135-pound title. Renan Barao and Urijah Faber will fight for the title Feb. 1 in New Jersey.
White said he plans to solidify Silva’s future plans when he meets Silva in Los Angeles this week.
Some have speculated Silva, 38, might retire after two consecutive losses to Weidman. Weidman said last week he’d have supreme confidence about winning a third fight, adding it might not even be fair.
Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, also told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that Silva believes “he’ll come back stronger” following surgery and has no plans to step away from fighting based on how he’s feeling now.
As for Cruz (19-1), he told White he suffered the groin tear six weeks ago and wanted to see if it would heal or if he could fight through the pain, with White saying Cruz asked him if he “take a cortisone shot” to keep the fight date.
“You can’t take no cortisone shot,” White said he responded.
Cruz, 28, hasn’t fought since Oct. 1, 2011, when he beat Demetrious Johnson by unanimous decision. But he later tore his anterior cruciate knee ligament, a setback that prompted another extended layoff.
“If it wasn’t for bad luck, he wouldn’t have any luck at all,” White said.
Faber (30-6) won all four fights in 2013, fighting Dec. 14 with a second-round submission by guillotine choke of Michael McDonald.
“He’s fighting better than he ever has,” White said, insisting interest in the bout shouldn’t be altered by the replacement.
Barao, a Brazilian, is 31-1 and coming off a TKO of Eddie Wineland in the second round of their Sept. 21 fight.