According to one of Anderson Silva‘s jiu-jitsu coaches, Ramon Lemos, the UFC middleweight champion likely won’t fight again until March of 2011 as he will need time to heal from a "fractured rib" he sustained in the first round of his seventh title defense saturday night against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 in Oakland, CA.
Ramos revealed the news to Fighters Only today.
"After the first round he said he broke his ribs. He said told me he could not breathe because of the rib. I told him to forget the rib and work the movement of legs and he would get the triangle… After the fight he went to the hospital and did an x-ray and the doctor said he did not break it, it was just a crack," Lemos recalled. "Anderson is expected to return in February or March."
According to WebMD, a fractured rib can take at least six weeks to heal completely and the only recourse is rest and the application of ice to the injured area. Given that timeline, Silva could be ready to resume training near the end of September, which would give him ample time to prepare for a December or January bout, but according to Lemos, two fights is more than enough for his charge.
"We have not talked, but he has to take care of injuries, he fought twice last year and had an operation on his elbow," Lemos said. "This year he made two more fights and now with this rib injury … He is no longer a boy, he is 34 years old.”
Although there were rumors prior to the bout that Vitor Belfort would likely get the next shot at the winner of Silva-Sonnen the reaction of fans and the media who seem to collectively be calling for a rematch of Saturday night’s main event may mean Belfort, who hasn’t fought since beating Rich Franklin last September, will either have to take a knee and wait this one out or he’ll have to take whatever the UFC offers him.
I spoke to Vitor’s trainer Shawn Tompkins last week and he stated that although they are most interested in a title shot, at this point Belfort "will fight whomever the UFC put in front of him."
An interesting figure Yahoo’s Dave Meltzer dropped today that may push the UFC’s hand in the direction of signing Sonnen-Silva II over Belfort-Silva is that five hours after their fight, 11 of the top 20 Google search terms were in reference to Chael.
In an interview with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani following the event, UFC president was noncommittal as to whether or not Sonnen would be granted an immediate rematch, but he did say that he is obligated to give the fans what they want, so the fight is a logical one.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what plays out. If Silva doesn’t fight until next year, maybe a Sonnen-Belfort match-up will have to be made to decide who gets the next crack at "The Spider."