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Erick Silva details road back to the Octagon after winning despite orbital bone fracture

Erick Silva and Yancy Medeiros Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO - Erick Silva’s last win was a costly one, but ended up giving him more time to do things differently.

Silva submitted Luan Chagas last September, winning outside the first round for the first time in his UFC career. He returns to the Octagon to battle Yancy Medeiros at Saturday’s UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ahead of his 14th UFC bout, Silva looked back at the recovery process he was forced to go through surgeries to fix a broken orbital bone and an injured shoulder.

"I didn’t feel any pain,” Silva told MMA Fighting of the punch that broke his orbital bone at UFC Fight Night 95. "My eye swelled right away, but I thought it was no big deal. He dropped me and I went back up right away. I wasn’t dizzy or anything like that.

"But in the second round, I felt one of his punches and got dizzy. It was weird. The punch that broke my face didn’t hurt that much, but the second one, apparently a light punch, hurt me.”

Away from the cage for nine months, his longest layoff since signing with the UFC in 2011, Silva had to go under the knife a second time.

"The face surgery sounds worse, breaking the orbital bone and putting a piece of metal and 14 screws, but the recovery was fast,” Silva said. "The shoulder surgery was more complicated. It was an old injury that kept bothering me. I had to do an arthroscopy to remove bone and cartilage fragments."

Shortly after being cleared to train, Silva entered the mat to face Viscardi Andrade in a super fight at the ADCC trials event in Sao Paulo, losing by points (5-3). Even though he didn’t have his hand raised in the end, it was good to get back in action before he started a training camp.

And before he kicked off his camp for UFC 212, Silva experienced what it was like to get punched in the face after such a delicate surgery.

"It wasn’t that bad,” he said with a laugh. "I actually forgot about it, and other people kept me reminding me of it. I was sparring and got hit sometimes, and (coach Andre) Benkei asked me did I feel anything in the face, and I took a moment for me to remember of the surgery [laughs]. I think it’s unbreakable now with this screws [laughs]."

Silva started his camp for UFC 212 in Germany, training with kickboxing coach Mohamed Ouali and Bellator fighter Daniel Weichel at MMA Spirit. Back to his home state Espirito Santo, Silva finished his camp in his own gym with coach Benkei and trainers Sergio Babu and Cosmo Alexandre.

At UFC 212, the Brazilian aims to give Medeiros his second loss in Brazil. The Hawaiian talent only competed outside of his home country once, losing a trilling contest to Francisco Trinaldo last May in Curitiba.

"I think it’s a good match-up for me,” Silva said. "I like his style, he comes forward and goes for the finish if he has an opportunity. He has submissions, but he likes to stand and trade, and that’s interesting for my style. We studied the mistakes he makes, and we will work on catching him there."

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