Following two losses to Chris Weidman, no one was entirely sure if Anderson Silva (33-6) would ever fight again. Anderson’s clowning and intimidating mockery resulted in a KO loss to Weidman in UFC 162, but it was nothing compared to the horrible leg injury he suffered in the title rematch of UFC 168. No one knew if he would ever come back to the cage, much less try to make a second go for the title he lost. Over the course of a month, it appears that “the spider” has reconsidered the goals of his return to the UFC cage.
Just last month, Anderson told Fantástico:
“I’m over this thing of being champion, having the title,” he said. “The truth is, there will only be one Ayrton Senna, there will only be one Pele, and there will only be one Anderson Silva, so whoever saw me (as champion), saw me. Who haven’t seen me (as champion), won’t see it.
“In a way you’ll see me (fight again), but not for the belt, that thing of being champion again. I don’t have patience for this. I think I’m closer to retirement every day.”
Now it appears that Anderson has changed his mind on the matter of title contention:
“I think about fighting for the title again, of course,” Silva said in an interview to his manager Jorge Guimaraes on Passando a Guarda. “I have seven fights left in my contract and, if I have a chance to fight for the title again, I will fight.”
The first of his seven contracted fights will be against Nick Diaz (26-9) at UFC 183 in January. Nick Diaz was on an unstoppable 11-fight winning streak from 2008-2011, but he has also lost his last 2 consecutive title fights like Anderson. Silva vs. Diaz will be an unquestionably historic fight for the UFC and a win for either fighter could mean a strong, revitalized career in the UFC. With both fighters at their best, the fight should be a display of pure striking expertise. The razor sharp precision of Anderson against the relentless pace of Nick Diaz will be a great display of top level MMA from both fighters looking to make a strong comeback in the organization.
“I’m really excited. It’s my comeback, I have to be excited,” “The Spider” said. “I’m training a lot, really happy with everything that is happening. Nick Diaz is a tough guy. He fights really well, has a great physical condition and a great technique, so it’s going to be a nice fight.
There’s no question that there would be a strong demand backing Silva vs. Weidman III (or vs. current tile holder), but will a win over Nick Diaz be enough to secure that shot? If Diaz is able to earn a win over the #1 middleweight, where does that rank him in the UFC’s division?