The Spider is back…well sort of. Anderson Silva returned from a career threatening injury to win a unanimous decision over Nick Diaz. While the win was nice, the story was the Silva we saw and didn’t see at UFC 183.
I thought that the styles of both Silva and Diaz made for one of the most exciting matchups in recent memory. Both guys like to fight on the offense and neither guy was known for coasting to decisions. That said I expected it to go the decision because neither guy had a propensity to get knocked out. Yet at the end of the fight it was really the first two minutes and final two minutes that were the most exciting. The rest of the fight consisted of both guys picking spots yet rarely engaging in anything more than some elaborate stick and move.
Quite frankly the most exciting parts of the fight came in the first two rounds when Diaz talked smack and at one point laid down begging Silva to go down to the ground. Unfortunately Nick stopped talking until the end of the fight, thus the Diaz show failed to deliver as advertised. Silva collapsed at the end of the fight in tears while Diaz was busted up pretty badly. Silva intimated at the end of the fight that this could have been his last fight, although I think I have heard that speech from Silva for the last two years.
The big question was Silva’s leg. How would it hold up? The leg was definitely not a problem as Silva gained confidence. Silva rarely used it early on but he gained confidence as the fight progressed and was kicking just fine with the rehabilitated leg. Nick said after the fight that the leg kicks from that leg weren’t very effective but consider the source.
The big story here in my opinion is that while Silva was back, the Spider was still at home. Silva looked nothing like the dominant machine he was for many years. Chris Weidman would have dominated the Silva that fought tonight. It was kind of sad quite frankly and yes Silva did win the fight. But this was dialed-back Silva and not the Silva you probably paid money to see.
I don’t know where you go with either guy from here. Both guys only want to fight super fights or title fights. Diaz certainly doesn’t deserve a title fight and neither does Silva. I do believe that Silva vs. Weidman needs a definitive conclusion. Whether that is Weidman rolling through this Silva or not is another story. However, I just don’t see any way that you can justify booking this unimpressive Silva directly into a title fight. Stranger things have happened and let’s face it. The championship booking in UFC lost credibility years ago. I just think he needs one more win minimum, and I am not so sure he’s going to get it against any of the top contenders in the division.
Full UFC 183 Silva vs. Diaz results…
Anderson Silva defeated Nick Diaz via Decision (unanimous) (49-46, 50-45, 50-45)
Tyron Woodley defeated Kelvin Gastelum via Decision (split) (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Al Iaquinta defeated Joe Lauzon via TKO (punches)
Thales Leites defeated Tim Boetsch via Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke)
Thiago Alves defeated Jordan Mein via TKO (body kick and punches)
Miesha Tate defeated Sara McMann via Decision (majority) (29-28, 29-27, 28-28)
Derek Brunson defeated Ed Herman via TKO (punches)
John Lineker defeated Ian McCall via Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rafael Natal defeated Tom Watson via Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Ildemar Alcântara defeated Richardson Moreira via Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Thiago Santos defeated Andy Enz via TKO (punches)
UFC 183 Post Fight Press Conference