In 2014, the UFC had a rough year. It was plagued by sub par fight cards and injuries to top fighters. This year though, the UFC has gotten off to a good start, and with UFC 183 upon us, the fans are once again excited about watching MMA. UFC 183 is being headlined by the return of a fallen legend, and the return of an MMA villain. Even though Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz is not a championship fight, it’s still one of the most anticipated fights in the last few years. Let’s take a closer look at these fighters, and then I’ll make my fight pick for the main event at UFC 183.
Anderson Silva entered the UFC for the first time in 2006 and then rattled off 16 wins in a row. In only his second fight in the UFC he dominated Rich Franklin and became the undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion. He dominated the division for the next 7 years! He was considered by many, the best pound for pound MMA fighter in the world. Then, in July of 2013 at UFC 162, disaster struck when his clowning around in the octagon failed to intimidate or break the concentration of Chris Weidman and was knocked out by a Weidman perfecty placed punch.
Many thought that KO was a fluke. In the rematch, a real fluke happened when Silva threw a low kick, Weidman checked it, and Silva’s shin bone gave out and broke in front of stunned MMA and UFC fans! Only a year later, he’s back and has been matched up with Nick Diaz for his return fight. Silva is now 39 and many are questioning whether he still has what it takes to be a dominant fighter.
Nick Diaz is one of the toughest fighters that has ever entered the UFC cage. Diaz was on an 11 fight winning streak until he lost decisions to Carlos Conduit and then the welterweight champion at the time, the legendary George St. Pierre (GSP). Frustrated by those losses, Diaz seemed to have given up on fighting for the UFC. He hasn’t fought since March of 2013. With Nick Diaz, there is no gray area, either you love him or hate him, but either way, fans do come out to watch him fight!
Nick Diaz has one of the best chins in the game and an aggravating pepper punching style nicknamed the Stockton Slap. He keeps his fist flying at the opponents face constantly and consistently. His ground game is excellent and has no problem when the fight hits the mat. His weakness is checking kicks. He doesn’t seem to bother with doing that very much. Unfortunately for Diaz, Silva is one of the best strikers in MMA history and leg kicks are one of his top weapons.
This fight is extremely interesting for at least two reasons. One, Diaz is going up a weight class but facing an aging legendary fighter coming off a severe leg injury. Two, Silva’s stand up is great, but he had trouble with Chris Weidman’s aggressiveness and good chin. Some people would argue that Diaz is even more aggressive and has an even better chin.
Look for this fight to go into the later rounds with both fighters getting off good shots. Silva’s age will begin to show in the later rounds as Diaz stays aggressive and keeps coming after him. Silva is a legend, has a ton of experience and handles trouble well, but Diaz is younger, he fights angry, has a big gas tank, and ultimately will wear the aging legend down.
As fighters age, speed is the first thing to go. Silva has relied on that speed as well as accuracy to win fights. Slippage in both those areas will allow Diaz to walk away the winner at UFC 183.
Check out the video, Countdown to UFC 183: Silva vs. Diaz