Brazilian legend and former UFC middleweight champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva will make his highly anticipated return to the Octagon on Super Bowl weekend, where he will face Nick Diaz, who recently came out of retirement.
UFC president Dana White announced on ESPN that Silva – who famously broke his leg against reigning champion Chris Weidman last December – will return to action on January 31 in Las Vegas against the controversial Diaz.
"The greatest of all time, Anderson Silva, is back," said White, as quoted by MMA Fighting.. "His doctor gave him clearance to fight."
"Also back is Nick Diaz, so we have made the Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz (fight) on January 31 in Las Vegas. It will be the main event, and it will be five rounds," he added.
White assured that Silva is "100 percent healthy" and is in fact "kicking again." "He feels great. He's chomping at the bit to get back into the Octagon," White said of the former champion.
Silva has not fought since December 2013, when he broke his left tibia in the second round of his UFC 168 showdown against Weidman.
Diaz, meanwhile, has not fought in the UFC since March 2013, when he lost a decision to Georges St-Pierre. It was his second straight loss, having also lost to Carlos Condit in February 2012.
He has signed a new contract with the UFC, however, and White acknowledged that he remains a "very popular fighter."
"If he comes in and beats Anderson Silva, he could fight for the title. He's right in there. It would be a huge, huge win for him," White said.