Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva said he never once considered retirement following the gruesome leg injury he suffered in December.
Silva, 39, is scheduled to fight Nick Diaz in the main event of a UFC 183 pay-per-view on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. It will be his first appearance since he fractured the tibia and fibula bones in his left leg during a TKO loss to Chris Weidman at UFC 168.
During a global media call on Friday, Silva admitted his family is "not too happy" about his decision to return to the Octagon but stated he never considered calling it quits. He also said regaining a UFC title at some point in his career remains a possibility.
"You know, I have another seven fights on my (UFC) contract," Silva said through his interpreter and manager Jorge Guimaraes. "Obviously, like right now, (regaining) a title is not my priority, but it's not out of the question.
"(Within) seven fights, if I have the credentials to fight for the title, I would be more than glad to do it."
In December 2012, UFC president Dana White revealed Silva had signed a contract extension of 10 fights. The Brazilian has fought twice since that announcement.
ESPN.com confirmed with Silva's manager, Ed Soares, he has eight fights left on his contract.
Silva (33-6) holds the UFC record for consecutive title defenses in any division with 10. He lost the belt to Weidman (12-0) via second-round knockout in July 2013.
Five months later, Silva suffered a second consecutive defeat to Weidman when he fractured his left leg throwing a leg kick that Weidman checked. Silva referred to the injury as a "mere accident" during the conference call.
He underwent emergency surgery in Las Vegas on the night of the fight. Dr. Steven Sanders inserted a titanium metal rod into Silva's leg, which will likely remain there for the rest of his life. On Friday, Silva said the leg was healed "95 percent."
Physicians in Brazil, Los Angeles and Las Vegas have overseen Silva's recovery over the last seven months, according to his manager Ed Soares.
When asked if he felt any fear throwing leg kicks after the accident, Silva replied, "No." He praised Diaz (26-9) for his willingness to move forward and stated the fight could be "one of the best standup battles of the UFC."
"(The fight) is excellent for the fans, for myself and for Nick as well," Silva said. "We haven't stepped in the Octagon for awhile. Nick is a guy who walks forward. He's got great boxing skills and is going to come to fight. Fans can expect a great fight."
Diaz, 30, has not fought since he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Georges St-Pierre in a welterweight title fight at UFC 158 in March 2013. A recent renegotiation of his contract brought Diaz back into activity this month.