MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Silva and Diaz Return To Face Each Other

Anderson Silva 2Tuesday was a big day for the UFC in terms of fight announcements, and few announcements that the organization made could have been bigger than convincing both Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz to sign the dotted line for the main event at UFC 183. The event takes place on January 31st and takes the UFC back a few years to when the Superbowl weekend cards were some of the biggest the organization put on. This fight is all about questions. Diaz is coming back off of a nearly two-year layoff. How will he look? Silva suffered that horrific leg break last December and will have been out over a year by the time this event rolls around. Is he 100 percent? Those are two of the major questions surrounding this bout, but there are many more on both sides that make this one of the most intriguing bouts in recent memory. Between Silva’s astonishing track record in the Octagon and the diehard fans that Diaz possesses, fans are going to be very split on this bout. However, earlier today the betting line was released for this bout and Nick Kalikas set Silva as a -405 favorite at Several Bookmakers, indicating a strong lean to the former middleweight champ. The UFC 183 main event wasn’t the only bout announced yesterday however, as the UFC helped fill out four other cards. UFC 178 – Bobby Green vs. Jorge Masvidal Both Green and Masvidal will come back from their UFC on FOX 12 victories on fairly short notice to battle each other at UFC 178. The pair seemed to be angling for a higher-ranked opponent, but will have to make due. The bout should prove entertaining as both men are exciting strikers. Masvidal has the edge on the ground, but Green has shown excellent takedown defense and scrambling, so who knows if he can get the fight there. Green has the biggest win of the two in his last bout against Josh Thomson, so he may end up opening a slight favorite due to that momentum. UFC Fight Night 51 – Gleison Tibau vs. Piotr Hallmann The co-main event of the UFC’s next trip to Brazil will be a lightweight clash between Brazilian Gleison Tibau and Poland’s Piotr Hallmann. Hallmann has already gone to Brazil and found success in the past, so he’ll be looking to replicate that success. Both men are primarily grapplers, but have a well-rounded overall game which means this fight could take place anywhere. Tibau has consistently been just below the top level of lightweights in the UFC, while Hallmann is a fighter on the rise, so this will likely be a close line with a slight lean to Tibau. UFC Fight Night 53 – Ilir Latifi vs. Jan Blachowicz Rising light heavyweight Ilir Latifi puts his two-fight UFC winning streak on the line in the UFC’s next trip to Stockholm, as he will take on the debuting Jan Blachowicz. Blachowicz has been a mainstay of the KSW promotion for years, and rides a five-fight winning streak into his UFC debut against the powerhouse Swede. Latifi has been very impressive since his UFC debut, showing his submission game off against Cyrille Diabate and then his striking against Chris Dempsey. His wrestling game should be his biggest strength against Blachowicz, as he has a huge edge in that department and should be able to control where this fight takes place. I expect Latifi to continue getting more and more respect, and he should open a sizeable favorite here. The UFC also announced an additional bout for each of those fight night cards, as Sean Spencer replaces Joe Riggs against Paulo Thiago at UFC Fight Night 51, while Dennis Siver and Robert Whiteford square off at UFC Fight Night 53. Two other promotions also got in the fight booking act yesterday, as WSOF announced a middleweight title bout between Dave Branch and Yushin Okami at WSOF 15. This is a surprisingly good bout between two solid grapplers at 185 and the champion will be one of the top fighters in the division not in the UFC. Also, Titan FC booked a title eliminator in their featherweight division between UFC veteran Kurt Holobaugh and Bellator veteran Lloyd Woodard for Titan FC 29.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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