UFC 183: Silva vs. Diaz Date: January 31, 2015 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada Venue: TBD Broadcast: Pay-Per-View UFC Middleweight Contender Anderson Silva (-405) Profile: 2013 was a year to forget for Anderson Silva (33-6). Long considered the top pound-for-pound MMA fighter on the planet, “The Spider” saw his UFC records for the most consecutive title defenses (10) and most consecutive wins (16) come to an end at the hands of Chris Weidman at UFC 162. His accomplishments inside the Octagon more than earned him a return bout with the newly crowned champion, which unfortunately ended when Silva suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in UFC history. Now 39 years old, the former champion will be returning after over a year away from the sport rehabbing his broken leg. Very few human beings have been able to pull off the types of feats Silva has been capable of in the past, but there will certainly be questions as to his mental and physical state heading into his next bout against Nick Diaz. UFC Welterweight Contender Nick Diaz (+285) Profile: Nick Diaz (26-9, 1 NC) returned to the UFC in 2011 after a five-year absence from the organization which saw him compete in PRIDE, Elite XC, DREAM and Strikeforce. Most notably, Diaz went 6-0 in Strikeforce and became the promotion’s welterweight champion. Upon his return, a champion vs. champion bout was scheduled with Georges St-Pierre, but Diaz was removed from the fight after missing several promotional events. Instead, Diaz would face former two-division champion B.J. Penn, winning via dominant decision. This would prove to be Diaz’ most recent Octagon win, as he dropped an interim title bout to Carlos Condit in February 2012, and failed a subsequent drug test which had him on the shelf for the remainder of the year. The brash Stockton native talked himself into a title show with St-Pierre upon his return, but lost his second consecutive unanimous decision, and announced his retirement shortly thereafter. Now under a new contract with the UFC, Diaz has made it clear he only wants big fights, and few are bigger than the man widely considered the greatest of all-time, Anderson Silva. Opening UFC 183 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Silva a -405 favorite (bet $405 to win $100) while Diaz opened as a +285 underdog (bet $100 to win $285) at 5Dimes Sportsbook. This is one of the most intriguing bouts the UFC has ever booked, and will generate an enormous amount of buzz amongst fans, media and bettors. It’s almost strange to think that these men have lost their last four combined bouts heading into this contest, and even more strange that each of their most recent victories comes over a now retired opponent. From a betting perspective there are so many unanswered questions on each side. Diaz will have been out for nearly two years by the time this fight takes place, while Silva’s layoff exceeds a year in addition to his injury. Diaz is constantly talking about (or in) retirement, so his desire to compete could be called into question. Silva was knocked down in his most recent loss, and knocked out in his loss before that, so at 39, how is his chin holding up? This fight should stay on the feet, and it could be extremely entertaining in terms of the actual striking that takes place, or even the mind games these two are sure to play with each other. Silva is overall the far better striker, and that’s why he opens such a big favorite, but with all those questions behind him, how much support will he get from the public?