Anderson Silva still has to face the Nevada Athletic Commission in April to answer for his multiple failed drug tests leading up to and immediately after his UFC 183 win in January vs. Nick Diaz, but he told fans in his native Brazil this week that he plans to fight on for some time.

“I will be back next year,” the near 40-year-old former champion said, according to a report from the indispensable Guilherme Cruz.

“We don’t know yet what’s going to happen because all the stuff I used during the treatment for my broken leg and my supplements were taken to the commission’s lab to be examined so we can find out what happened. I don’t know what happened. It was a surprise for me as well. Coming back next year was my plan, anyway, so it’s normal.”

Immediately after UFC 183, Silva expressed what appeared to be deep ambivalence about continuing to fight, citing his famiy pleading with him to retire and spend more time with them. Silva’s fight against Diaz was his first in over a year, after a long and grueling recovery from a snapped leg suffered at UFC 168 against middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

Silva appears to be sticking to his story that he took lots of supplements, without really understanding what they were. That could very well be true, but in the past athletic commissions have not given much leniency to fighters busted for steroids and other banned performance-enhancing drugs because of claims of ignorance.

Silva would appear to be anticipating having to sit out during a coming suspension from the NAC. It may not end up mattering much if he planned to wait a year to fight again, however.

Moving forward, Silva told fans that he hopes to fight more often. Specifically, Silva says that he’d like to fight multiple times a year, for the next five years.

“That was an offer from Dana (White, the UFC president) and Lorenzo (Feritta, the UFC co-owner and CEO),” he said.

“The only serious injury I had was on my leg. I spoke with my team, we discussed everything and saw that it was possible. We’re training now, focused on fighting for five more years. I already have my schedule for the next five years. If we can fight more, two or three times a year, it’s better.”

Time will tell if these claims from Silva will pan out or if they are just talk. If he does return to competition, in his 40s, the long-time middleweight king knows that he’d be far way from more title fights, however.

“First of all, I have to earn it,” Silva said.

“The fighters who are up there earned that spot — to fight for the UFC title. And, I have to conquer my space in the division, again. Step by step, starting from zero. I don’t know if I will have enough time for that, but if I have the opportunity to earn it, it’s possible.”