In possibly one of the biggest announcements for the New Year, the UFC has broken the ice on when either Anderson Silva or Nick Diaz would finally make their long-awaited return back to the octagon. January 31 is the date, Las Vegas, Nevada is the predicted canvas to what could be one of the most highly anticipated match-ups in recent memory. The fight itself is being proclaimed to be in the middleweight division as of right now, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. The Internet has gone a buzz, and MMA and UFC fans alike are going into a social media uproar. Will a fight between the two superstars live up to the hype? The MMA Spotlight says it is time to debate: the “Stockton Bad Boy” versus the ever so dangerous “The Spider” Silva. Matchmaking in the largest promotion of mixed martial arts just hit the jackpot.
Both Diaz and Silva have been on the sideline for quite some time, for different glaring reasons, but nonetheless, the fans have sorely missed each fighter and what they bring every time they step inside a UFC octagon. The match-up pairs two of the best-known strikers in the business against one another. Diaz more known for his boxing style and his “punches in bunches” approach, consuming opponents with a heavy barrage of strikes until they topple over in overwhelming fashion. Anderson Silva displays more to his arsenal, but could be a little hesitant on his kicks due to the extended recovery from his leg injury suffered against Chris Weidman. “The Spider” has quite the notable highlight reel package from his past victories, and is not shy about his boxing prowess as well. Before his injury, Silva stated on numerous occasions that he desired to compete in a boxing match, specifically calling out Roy Jones Jr.
It was only a matter of time before the UFC President made the announcement. Nick Diaz was on the verge of retirement without a new contract, and a big name was needed to pull him back inside the cage. Just last week, the “Stockton Bad Boy” was signed to a new deal with the organization, while Silva was a name heavily linked to the former welterweight title challenger. Dana White continually shot down notions of a fight being set between the two. When it was time to put pen to paper though, both fighters expressed their desire to meet one another in an epic battle of proportions.
This could possibly be a dream come true for fans around the globe. Many have been enamored with a bout between the two for years on end. The card is set to headline the 183 card at the end of January, and will be a five round slug-fest to boot. While pronouncing the mega event, White also noted that Diaz could make an argument for a title shot if he were to beat one of the all time greatest pound for pound fighters ever in the organization. One victory in the middleweight division is hardly worthy of a title shot in most cases. However, this is different. Not everyone has beat the caliber fighter of an Anderson Silva. The return of each may have been a dire need in their own prospective minds, but as a whole, this fight just means so much more for the UFC. Let the build up machine begin, mixed martial arts now has themselves a fight on their hands.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Follow Justin’s coverage in the MMA Spotlight section
Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA