01-29-2015, by JP Scarano, Exclusively for TheFightWorld.Com
This Saturday night on January 31, 2015 we have two former champions coming back into the cage who have wanted to fight each other for a long time. We have Nick Diaz, who took a 2-year leave from MMA for personal reasons, taking on Anderson Silva who is considered one of the greatest cage fighters of all time. Both of these men have a lot to prove in that they aren’t done yet.
Nick Diaz is one of the toughest MMA fighters that I have seen and can be one of the most outspoken and disrespectful, as well. What makes Diaz such a dangerous fighter is his boxing and jiu-jitsu skills. Without a doubt, Diaz has a way to get under your skin and always plays his game, not yours. By implementing his style, Diaz has captured 4 World Welterweight Championships. 2 of those titles were in the WEC and Strikeforce. Diaz has fought all over the world and has competed in the Iron Man competition, as well. Diaz has great cardio and never seems to quit. His record of 26-9-0(1) confirms that about him . But what Diaz fans love most about him is not just his fighting style but that he says exactly what’s on his mind and has absolutely no filters.
Diaz ‘s last fight was for the UFC World Welterweight Champion against then champion GSP where Diaz came up short by Unanimous Decision. We got hyped about that fight because they didn’t like each other. GSP wanted the Diaz fight more after he beat Carlos Condit. After his loss to GSP, Diaz announced his retirement from MMA and wanted to try his hand at boxing and with start-up WAR MMA on June 22, 2013. Diaz got the fire back in his spirit after his first WAR MMA promotion fight. As a result, he re-signed with the UFC and his next fight is with Anderson Silva who he has wanted to fight since they both competed in the Rumble On the Rock promotion. We have not heard much out of Diaz on this fight which means that Diaz must really respect Silva. It also means that this will be a great fight for fight fans to watch.
Many of us thought that Anderson Silva’s career was over after his last fight against current UFC World Middleweight Champion, Chris Weidman. When Silva first came to the UFC he was already a stand-out at PrideFC. He is also a 2-time World Middleweight Champion and is looking to make his name well known. Silva did that with an impressive debut knocking out Chris Leben who was a TUF 1 favorite and a dangerous striker. Silva’s striking proved to be more dangerous. After that fight Silva got at shot at the UFC World Middleweight Championship against former champion Rich Franklin where we saw Silva’s striking take out Franklin in the first round. That began Silva’s 16-fight dominance in the Middleweight division and he took on superfights, as well.
Because of his 33-4-0 record people were always asking “When will Silva be beaten or can he be beaten?”. That was a great question because Silva held his title for the longest period of time in the UFC. He held it for 6 years. The answer to that question came on July 6, 2013 when we saw a cocky Silva taking on a dangerous Chris Weidman.
The Silva vs Weidman fight was supposed to be an easy for Silva or so people were saying. However, I knew better because Weidman has been one of those guys that has been on a tear and undefeated. He proved that his size and strength was too much for Silva when he played around with him. Weidman, got a great combo and KOed Silva. The crowd went nuts and so did the Silva fans. The rematch happened on December 28, 2013 with Silva challeging the title and with Weidman defending it for the first time. During the first round we saw improvement in Silva but also we saw that Weidmanso had improved, as well. It was hard to judge who won the 1st round but Weidman won that round because of his take-downs and his ground-and-pound.
In the first 1:16 seconds of the 2nd round Silva threw a leg kick that Weidman checked and broke Silva’s leg in two. We all thought it was over for Silva and thought that it was time for him to call it quits from MMA. But after surgery and taking time away from MMA, Silva wants to fight again.
It has been over a year since we last saw Silva fight. That has many of us asking “Does he still have what it takes ?”. I think he does but my question is, “What is left for him to prove ?”.
This main event fight is one that I think the UFC knew was going to be just as big as the Jones vs. Cormier fight. The main difference here is that the championship is not on the line. This fight is for #1 contender spots. If Diaz can beat Silva he will get to be the next in line for the Welterweight title where Diaz has fought most of his career and badly wants to be champion there. If Silva beats Diaz he will get the chance to get the Middleweight title back and we will get our rubber match between Weidman and Silva. We will have to wait and see who wins the title fight between Weidman and Belfort in February first.
Who do you fans have winning this main event of champions ?
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