Ever since his leg snapped against Chris Weidman at UFC 168’s main event, MMA fans have been eagerly anticipating either Anderson Silva’s return, or his retirement. The same can be said about Nick Diaz’s fans towards their favorite fighter. Now, everybody has an answer, and it is one of the most hotly awaited MMA fights in quite some time.
That’s because on Sportscenter Tuesday afternoon, UFC President Dana White confirmed what Max Bretos tweeted earlier: Anderson Silva will fight Nick Diaz in what will likely be the main event of UFC 183 on Super Bowl weekend.
The much anticipated matchup was confirmed just a week after Nick Diaz (26-9, 1NC) ended his 16-month retirement, which he took after a unanimous decision to then UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158 on March 16, 2013.
As for Anderson Silva, well, many wondered if he would ever return to the octagon after shattering his leg at UFC 168, just five months after losing his title to now Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman.
Both fighters are coming off two straight losses, all in championship fights. Diaz lost a hotly contested at UFC 143 on Super Bowl 47 eve, to Carlos Condit in an interim Welterweight Championship bout, and a year later, fought GSP at UFC 158, where he lost to the former UFC Welterweight Champion via clear cut decision.
For Silva, the story is much different. After seventeen straight victories and a seven-year unbeaten streak, the longtime UFC Middleweight Champion danced around like a jackass against Chris Weidman, before getting knocked out by a flush shot in the second round of the UFC 162 main event.
Then, in a rematch at UFC 168 last December, Silva snapped his leg when Weidman checked it in the second round. The injury looked hellacious, and it looked like Silva’s future as an MMA fighter was very much in doubt. However, his progression toward normalcy was well documented, and now, his return has been confirmed.
The fight will be a Middleweight bout. Regardless of who wins, excitement is a virtual guarantee, and blows the previous Super Bowl Weekend main events out of the water.