The UFC crowd is talking about the ultimate Super Bowl Party when Anderson Silva steps into the cage to fight Nick Diaz at UFC 183 on Jan. 31.
Silva up until last year was regarded as the best mixed martial artist in the world. Diaz has always been regarded as one of the most unpredictable and volatile fighters in MMA. The two will collide in a fight between two non-champions, in a fight that if promoted well could break UFC PPV records.
But as entertaining of a fight as it could be, it’s still sad that this fight has to happen, at least in this way. This fight could have been so much better, and now, there are so many other better fights the UFC could book. Here are 5 reasons why:
5. Nick Diaz Doesn’t Deserve Anderson Silva Right Now
Diaz has not won a fight since 2011. He has only fought twice in the last three years, both fights he lost. Both fights went the distance, in performances where it was clear that Diaz didn’t want to get knocked or choked out. Diaz is capable of being a great MMA fighter, but when he fights safe, like he did against Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre, he’s a shell of himself.
Diaz only wants the big fights. It shouldn’t work that way. You shouldn’t be able to pout for three years about bad decisions by the judges and then talk your way into a fight with a guy considered by many to be the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
4. Diaz Doesn’t Even Like To Fight
“I don’t enjoy fighting,” Diaz said recently in a media call. “I don’t use that word (excited) in this sport. I use that word like maybe I’m starving, and food is showing up. I’m getting excited. That’s excitement. Or I’m excited to have a couple of days off. “
Diaz’s heart is not in it, and has not been in it for several years, which is why he didn’t work to finish Condit, or try harder to compete with GSP, a fight that he wanted for years, finally got, and then fought flat in. This fight is a pay day for Diaz. It would have been a much better fight four years ago when Diaz was on an incredible run, but back then the UFC and Silva wouldn’t dream of putting him in the cage with Silva, whom they thought would reign forever like Godzilla in Hollywood. There are plenty of other fighters who enjoy fighting that would be a better fight (Cung Le, Luke Rockhold, Michael Bisping) for Silva.
3. It’s A Set-Up Fight For Silva
It’s hard to know who will win the fight, but one thing is clear. The UFC is putting Silva back in the cage after a broken leg to fight a guy who probably is going to stand with Silva and turn it into a boxing fight. Diaz is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but he doesn’t show it much. Diaz likes to pack apart guys with his long reach. It’s a perfect kind of fight for Silva, who was dominated on the ground by wrestler Chris Weidman. Styles make fights and Diaz is tailor-made to give Silva a stand-up challenge, without threatening his legs. In the UFC’s world, Silva will beat Diaz and then fight Weidman for the title again next July. Welcome, Diaz, to the storyline.
2. There’s A Good Chance The Fight Will Never Happen
Diaz has this thing about showing up to press conferences and doing media work for fights. He blew his first opportunity against GSP because he no-showed a press conference. Putting a main event on Super Bowl weekend on the back of Diaz is a risky endeavor. Diaz has showed that he doesn’t revere UFC President Dana White like all the UFC fanboys do. Diaz is an independent thinker who does things his own way. He might get pissed over something and decide the fight doesn’t matter. Silva’s no automatic bet, either. He’s coming off a really bad injury and who knows how he will really feel as the fight moves closer.
1. The Fight Could Be A Snoozer
Yes, there’s potential for a Thomas Hearns vs. Marvelous Marvin Hagler war. There’s also potential for a George Jefferson charade fight. Neither guy wants to get knocked out. Neither guy wants to get tapped out. That’s the problem in the UFC these days: too many fighters fight to avoid losing, and not to simply to win. Anyone ever remember Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell looking to coast to a victory back in the boom days of the UFC? It’s very likely that Silva will use his superior speed and agility to frustrate Diaz and win the fight on points. Diaz will have to risk getting tapped out himself in order to beat Silva. If Diaz thinks he is just going to go in there and box his way to a KO victory, he’s crazy. Weidman did it because Silva hung his head out there like a lazy curve ball. If history is any indication, Silva will dance and prance and win on points, and Diaz will complain and pout over his failed attempts to lure Silva into a backyard brawl.
The power of this fight rests in Diaz’s hands. He’ll have to get over himself and be willing to lose if he wants to win.