At UFC 183, former long-reigning middleweight champion Anderson Silva has the opportunity to return to greatness by defeating the boastful and always controversial Nick Diaz.
After sitting atop the 185-pound division for seven years as champion, Silva was knocked out at UFC 162, courtesy of the current champion, Chris Weidman. Then, in their rematch at UFC 168, the Brazilian suffered from a freak accident and broke his leg during an exchange between the two fighters.
During the last 14 months, Silva had surgery on his leg and has spent a great amount of time preparing for his monumental comeback against the “Stockton Bad Boy.” Per MMA Fighting, a member of Silva’s camp, Rafael Calvacante, recently praised the former champion’s work ethic.
“He’s training hard, I’m really impressed. He’s dedicated, and he will bring this win for the team. I wish he had this mental block because he’s kicking me a lot, and he’s kicking f—ing hard.”
Another member of the Silva camp predicts that the Brazilian will deliver an “amazing performance” at UFC 183.
“It’s unbelievable to see how he’s training today, his shape. It’s going to be an amazing fight. I have no doubt he’s going to win, and it’s going to be an amazing performance.”
Although many consider Silva to be the greatest fighter to ever grace the Octagon, skeptics believe that he’ll be unable to capture the grace and glory he once enjoyed. Staff writer Vince Carter for Combat Press recently mirrored the latter and offered up some somber points regarding the Brazilian’s career.
“He’s commonly referred to as the greatest fighter of all time, and his highlight reel is better than the combined reel of the majority of the middleweight division. But, Silva is almost 40 years old, and he’s been competing in MMA for damn near two decades. Even before Silva lost to Weidman twice, fans had to sense the end to his dominant career was near, and after coming off the most infamous and brutal injury in the history of the sport, the possibility of Silva never fighting again seemed like a very real question at one point.”
Regardless, according to Fox Sports, UFC president Dana White relayed that Silva would, in fact, be granted a title shot upon his victory over Diaz.
“Diaz and Anderson Silva are fighting, and obviously if Anderson Silva wins that fight, and whether Vitor or Weidman win, then you have Anderson Silva versus either one of those guys.”
Heading into UFC 183, Silva is presented with a great deal of pressure. He’s has compiled a two-fight losing streak, and is considered “old” within the world of mixed martial arts. However, with the win, redemption will seemingly be his, and he’ll have the opportunity to challenge for the title and ascend to greatness once more.
[Featured Image Courtesy of Felipe Dana/Associated Press]