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Ed Soares: Anderson Silva could fight Cung Le, Michael Bisping or even Nick Diaz on his UFC return

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Anderson Silva's manager Ed Soares was Ariel Helwani's guest on the MMA Hour yesterday and he reeled off some possible opponents for Silva's anticipated UFC return. Soares even teased a possible 2014 return to action for the legendary ex-champ but said 2015 is more likely.

Anderson Silva's manager Ed Soares has a lot of ideas for whom Silva will face when he returns to the UFC Octagon and he told Ariel Helwani all about them on yesterday's MMA Hour. The legendary Silva, considered by many to be the greatest mixed martial artist in the history of the young sport, snapped his shinbone last December at UFC 168 in a rematch against Chris Weidman, the man who took his title.

Silva is assiduously rehabbing his injured leg and plans to return to action early next year according to his manager, although a late 2014 return is also seen as a possibility.

"He's definitely coming back. He's feeling good, he's training hard. Everything is good, man. Hopefully we'll see him back. We won't see him back any earlier than the end of this year or, most likely, the beginning of next year," said Soares.

"There's always a chance (he comes back in 2014), but as of right now I think his mind is set on fighting at the beginning of next year," the manager added.

As for possible opponents, here's Soares' wish list:

"There's Michael Bisping, there's Cung Le. Even Nick Diaz. Nick Diaz has said he's wanted to fight him before. Nick Diaz wanted to box Roy Jones Jr. You could argue that Nick Diaz and Anderson probably have some of the best boxing in MMA, so we'll see what happens. Like we all know, so many things can change, the landscape of the sport can change so much in such a short amount of time.

Diaz has been "retired" since losing a Welterweight title shot against then-champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158 in early 2013. He's been extremely vocal about his unwillingness to return for anything less than a "big money fight." A marquee match against Anderson Silva would seem to fit that bill.