10 months on from suffering the horrific leg injury that threatened to end his career, Anderson Silva is preparing to make his comeback, but it isn't the physical side of things he's worried about.
The Brazilian legend has been seeing a psychologist in order to get over the 'ghosts' of his broken leg, which he says has greatly effected his training.
Silva suffered perhaps one of the most high profile broken legs in MMA and sporting history as his leg kick was blocked by Chris Weidman - shattering his leg - in the second round of their rematch.
Training in fear
"I'm a little apprehensive in training. I know I can execute the movement, but I end up not doing it for fear." Silva admitted in an interview with Brazilian publication, Fantastico.
"I've worked with a psychologist so I can get rid of the ghosts of those horrible moments of that fight, when I had that accident."
"I feel no pain at all," Silva said. "My strength is back because I’m back to training. The hardest part is self-confidence, to kick again as I used to."
Silva was rushed to hospital just moments after his clash with Weidman ended. He had a titanium rod inserted into his leg and has been rehabbing almost immediately.
'The Spider' had taken to finishing his training camps in Los Angeles ahead of his recent fights, but now says he'll finish his camps at home in Brazil, where he feels more comfortable.
He'll return to fight Nick Diaz on January 3rd at UFC 183, in Las Vegas, and while Diaz has had a longer lay-off Silva, his was voluntary unlike Silva - who has battled to meet doctor's expectations of a return within a year.
Silva batted away concerns he was scared of the Diaz fight by saying: "Yeah, I won’t get hurt. I know I won’t get hurt, but fear is natural. I don’t want to feel that pain ever again. No way."
No more title aspirations
Despite saying several times that he is done with fighting for titles - questions about another possible fight with Weidman for the UFC Middleweight are still one that pester Silva.
In his interview, he expressed once more that he was done with being a champion and likened him self to compatriots - football's greatest, Pele and one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers, Ayrton Senna.
"I'm over this thing of being champion, having the title," Silva said. "The truth is, there will only be one Ayrton Senna, there will only be one Pele, and there will only be one Anderson Silva, so whoever saw me (as champion), saw me. Who haven’t seen me (as champion), won’t see it. In a way you’ll see me (fight again), but not for the belt, that thing of being champion again. I don’t have patience for this. I think I'm closer to retirement every day."
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