One of Anderson Silva's managers, Ed Soares, told MMA Fighting Monday that the injured, long-time UFC middleweight plans to return to the cage by early 2015. "He's definitely coming back," Soares said of Silva.
"He's feeling good, he's training hard. Everything is good, man. Hopefully we'll see him back. We won't see him back any earlier than the end of this year or, most likely, the beginning of next year...There's always a chance (he comes back in 2014), but as of right now I think his mind is set on fighting at the beginning of next year."
As far as prospective opponents, Silva's manager mentioned a few big-name non-contenders at middleweight. "There's Michael Bisping, there's Cung Le. Even Nick Diaz," Soares began.
Diaz, of course, himself has not fought since March 2013 when he lost a decision to then-welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. He's asked for raises, title shots and big fights, otherwise saying he's content not to fight.
Diaz had previously called for a fight against "The Spider," and such a bout would likely be "big" enough to lure the Stockton bad boy out of his self-imposed exile from the Octagon.
Nick Diaz has said he's wanted to fight [Silva] before," Soares said.
"Nick Diaz wanted to box Roy Jones Jr. You could argue that Nick Diaz and Anderson probably have some of the best boxing in MMA, so we'll see what happens. Like we all know, so many things can change. The landscape of the sport can change so much in such a short amount of time."