After years of constant talk about potential superfights, the UFC has finally come through.
Making an appearance on ESPN, UFC President Dana White announced a matchup between Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz would serve as the main event of UFC 183, currently set to take place in Las Vegas on Super Bowl weekend.
“The fight the fans have been waiting for, the fight the fans have been screaming for.. also back is Nick Diaz,” said White. “We have made Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. It will be the main event and five rounds,” White said.
For Silva (33-6), this will mark his first appearance inside the octagon since suffering a gruesome injury in his title fight against current UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168 last December. For a while it looked like it would be the end of Silva’s long and storied career. But just 10 weeks after snapping his left tibia and fibula, Silva was seen not only walking but throwing kicks with his surgically repaired leg.
“Anderson Silva feels great,” said White. “It will be a 13-month layoff…He’s 100 percent healthy. He’s kicking. He feels great, and he’s chomping at the bit to get back in the octagon. He’s very excited for this fight.”
Prior to injuring his leg, Silva suffered a second round TKO loss to Weidman in the main event of UFC 162 in July 2013. This loss snapped ‘The Spider’s’ 17 fight-winning streak, which dated back to 2006 and included a UFC title reign that lasted a company record six years, eight months and 22 days.
Meanwhile his opponent, Diaz (26–9), a former Strikeforce and WEC welterweight champion, has not stepped into the octagon since suffering a decision loss to then UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in the main event of UFC 158 in March 2013. Following this loss, the immensely popular fighter announced his retirement from the sport 0f MMA, citing either an immediate title shot or another huge payday as the only scenarios that could lure him back into the cage. However the Stockton based fighter recently made waves after it was revealed he has recently signed a new deal with the UFC.
UFC 183 is currently scheduled for January 31 in Las Vegas. A venue for the card has yet to be announced.