(Video courtesy MMAWeekly)
When UFC president Dana White confirmed that Vitor Belfort would be stepping in to face Anderson Silva next while Chael Sonnen tries to talk himself out of a one-year suspension for testing positive for steroids, one piece of info that he left out was when we can expect the fight to go down.
Silva’s manager, Ed Soares revealed in an interview with MMAWeekly yesterday that Anderson is still experiencing pain in the rib he injured in his four-and-a-half round war with Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 and he may not be ready in time for UFC 125 on January 1 so the fight may have to wait until February 5.
"His rib is stil very tender. They’re very sore. That’s what I’m talking to him about. It’s still a bit sore, but it’s healing up. It’s still not 100 percent. He needs to be training at least 10 weeks with his ribs not being hurt. It’s still tender and it really hurts [him] to throw knees and stuff like that," Soares explained. "I think at this point, we don’t know what date it’s going to be. It’s definitely going to be some time next year. We just don’t know if it’s going to be January first or SuperBowl weekend."
When asked about the change in opponent from Sonnen to Belfort, Soares was complimentary of the former UFC light heavyweight champion who is widely regarded as being Silva’s toughest opponent to date.
"Great. It doesn’t make a difference. Whoever they put in front of us…like I said, we have never chosen who our opponents are," Soares said. "Whoever the UFC offers, we’re fine with. If it’s Vitor, then great, it’s Vitor. Vitor’s a very technical fighter — very well rounded; I think it’ll be a fight that the fans will enjoy."