It’s hard to imagine a more anticipated fight of the new year than the return of Anderson “The Spider” Silva. He faces former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz, who last fought in the octagon against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158 (losing by unanimous decision). After a devastating TKO loss to Chris Weidman due to a broken leg, it was uncertain if Silva would ever enter the octagon again. With both middleweights returning to the cage after an extended layoff, Dana White has slated Silva for the next title challenger if he is able to defeat Diaz.
On Fox Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight” UFC president Dana White stated that a win for Anderson Silva will earn him the title shot against the title winner of Weidman vs. Belfort at UFC 184:
“Diaz and Anderson Silva are fighting, and obviously if Anderson Silva wins that fight, and whether Vitor or Weidman win, then you have Anderson Silva versus either one of those guys,”
In a division full of gatekeepers, The UFC appears to have granted the title track to one of MMA’s greatest of all time. This is all of course contigent on a victory over Nick Diaz, but there many other middleweights who deserve a heavy consideration for the shot. Namely, the winners of Souza vs. Romero and Rockhold vs. Machida.
“It’s a very interesting fight,” White said. “After the injury that Anderson Silva had, where is he going to be mentally? I think physically he’s a guy that does the right things, works hard. He’s been working since the injury happened. He’s definitely going to be in shape.”
Will Anderson Silva be the same in the octagon? That’s the million dollar question for the UFC.
Do you think Anderson will be able to take a win over Nick Diaz? Would you rather see him fight Vitor Belfort or Chris Weidman?