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Former UFC champ Anderson Silva cleared for sparring

MMA: UFC 168-Weigh-ins
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He has all the Whoppers he can eat and a recovering leg. Anderson Silva is a happy man. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Six months after suffering a horrific leg break in his UFC 168 title bout against Chris Weidman, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva has been cleared for MMA sparring. "The Spider" broke the news through his Twitter account Friday.

Márcio Tannure, a medical doctor and the director for the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission, cleared Silva to resume sparring, according to the fighter. The long-time champion has always insisted that he would return to fighting despite two straight stoppage losses to Weidman, his advanced age and his horrible leg injury.

Using the power of will and hard work that made him the legendary fighter that he is, Silva has pushed through his rehab thus far, taking steps unassisted, rolling on the mats in Jiu Jitsu sparring, and kicking bags. MMA sparring, however, will be a much stiffer test of how well his leg has healed.

If and when Silva does fight again, he appears to have a willing opponent in the retired chill-mode Nick Diaz, the former welterweight challenger who has not competed since losing a decision to Georges St. Pierre in March of 2013. 

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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