Anderson Silva cleared for sparring six months after breaking leg

Anderson Silva is excited that he will now be allowed to spar, taking another step toward a return to the UFC.

Remember when people thought Anderson Silva would never fight again? Six months after he gruesomely broke his left leg in a fight with Chris Weidman, that notion seems silly.

Silva is extremely motivated to return to the UFC and he was cleared to spar Friday, "The Spider" wrote on Twitter. Dr. Marco Tannure, the head physician of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission, gave him the go-ahead to get back into it.

The former UFC middleweight champion has stated his desire to return in early 2015, but could he come back even sooner now that it’s only June and he’s about to spar? Hard to say.

UFC president Dana White has not been firm on Silva’s potential return date, saying it could be in the beginning of next year or even December. If the UFC had its choice, it would probably pick its huge, annual year-end card in Las Vegas — the same one Silva broke his leg at last year against Weidman.

Recently, talk has picked up about a potential first opponent for Silva in his comeback. Nick Diaz is someone Silva and his camp is interested in and the feeling is mutual. White said last week that Silva-Diaz is a fight he would do if both parties wanted it.

No matter who Silva faces in his return bout, it’ll be a huge event for the UFC. He made more progress toward that Friday.