anderson-silva

Anderson Silva’s next middleweight title defense will have to wait until next year.

The UFC’s longtime title-holder and one of MMA’s top pound-for-pound fighters will soon undergo elbow surgery and will miss the remainder of the 2009 fight season.

ESPN’s “MMA Live” mentioned the injury in a recent Twitter message, though Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, didn’t go into details when speaking to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Friday.

A source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com earlier in the week that UFC officials at least briefly considered the idea of Silva taking the headline spot at UFC 105, an event that takes place Nov. 14 in Manchester, England. The show airs via tape delay on Spike TV, and a Silva main event (whether against Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt or another opponent) would have likely scored huge ratings for the cable station.

Silva, though, will shut down for the rest of 2009, though details of the surgery were not immediately known. He’s targeting a likely early 2010 return to the cage.

Silva (25-4 MMA, 10-0 UFC), undefeated with a record 10-fight win streak in the UFC, most recently topped Forrest Griffin in a lopsided UFC 101 co-main-event fight. Silva battered the former light-heavyweight champion in a non-title fight and has now posted stoppage victories in 12 of his past wins.

When he does return to competition, Silva is likely to face either Henderson or Marquardt. While both basically have been promised title shots, a fight between the two top contenders could be a possibility while Silva is sidelined.

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