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Jacare Souza: Anderson Silva doesn’t need to, but he will return

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

JARAGUA DO SUL, Brazil -- Anderson Silva’s longtime training partner Ronaldo Souza is confident that the former UFC middleweight kingpin will step inside the Octagon again. And it won’t take that long for "The Spider" to fight again, he says.

"I think he will return faster than many people think," Souza told MMAFighting.com. "A true champion always overcomes adversities, and he will.

"He’s the one who has to answer this question, but I believe he will return. I’m praying for him to recover and get well soon."

Silva is showing progress in his recovery after a gruesome injury that ended his rematch with Chris Weidman at UFC 168 last December. He already said he will fight again, and UFC president Dana White believes he will return to the Octagon in 2014.

Not that he has to, according to "Jacare".

"He doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone," he said.

It’s still unknown is Silva will return to the cage right into a title fight, and his training partners "Jacare" and Lyoto Machida could be in the picture when (or if) he returns.

Souza won’t think about it now, and has few words about Vitor Belfort’s chance on defeating Chris Weidman on May 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"This is going to be a great, hard fought fight," he said. "Chris Weidman is a good wrestler and is coming off two wins against the best of all time, who seemed to be unbeatable. Chris Weidman will be more confident going into this fight."