On July 24, 2014, fan favorite Nick Diaz came out of retirement to sign a three-fight contract with the UFC.
It was the long-awaited return of the 209 native, who took a year off of fighting after his welterweight title loss to George St. Pierre.
With the buzz surrounding Diaz’s return to the octagon many have speculated who the UFC will put him up against first.
While retired, Diaz mentioned on numerous occasions that he wouldn’t come back unless it was for a title fight or a big payday. Well, it seems as if the Stockton, California, born and raised fighter is getting what he wished for, in more ways than one.
On July 29, 2014 it was announce by UFC president Dana White on SportsCenter, that on January 31, 2015, Super Bowl weekend, Nick Diaz will be taking on Anderson “The Spider” Silva.
Let that soak in for a second… Ok, good.
Silva has been rehabbing a broken leg since January and pushing to make his return sometime early next year. All signs are pointing to Silva not only being on schedule to make his return, but will be in top form come the night of the fight.
At 39 years of age, this may be Silva’s last go round in the UFC.
If Silva loses the match against Diaz on January 31, 2014, that would be three fights in a row for possibly the greatest fighter of all time. He’ll be pushing 40 by the time he gets another fight and with a losing streak on his record, a first for “The Spider,” it may be time for Silva to call it quits.
If Silva wins the fight it would put him right back into title talk, and depending how things unfold for current middleweight champion Chris Weidman, possibly set up a third fight for the belt between the two men.
For Diaz, who is nine years younger than Silva, things are a little more open and yet still very complicated.
Beating Silva may put Diaz into title contention, just not at Diaz’s usual weight class.
Diaz predominately fights at welterweight while Silva at middleweight. At this point there has been no mention of a catch weight or weight class the two will be fighting at but if Diaz beats Silva there will be chatter among fans and matchmakers alike, on whether Diaz should be up for a title shot against current middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
This could also propel Diaz up the rankings in welterweight getting him a possible title shot against the winner of Robbie Lawler and Johnny Hendricks. With Lawler and Diaz’s past, which includes a knockout victory for Diaz, the only time Lawler has been knocked out, that matchup could make for a cash cow of a main event.
If Diaz loses the fight then God only knows what will happen.
Diaz is not one who takes losing easily; retiring twice after his last two losses and losing a third fight in a row could mean another stint on the sidelines. But lets say he sticks it out and keeps fighting, well then it comes down to who you match him up with next that will keep the impulsive fighter happy.
No one knows what will come from this dream matchup. All we know is that the dream matchup is coming. Nick Diaz vs Anderson Silva is sure to have all the build up any fight fan can handle. And when it comes to styles, both men jiu jitsu black belts and tenacious strikers, the fight is sure to entertain the masses.
Super Bowl weekend couldn’t come any sooner and for a sports fan like myself, if that means a fight of the year candidate and a Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl, well then I’m all right with that.