There is a fight on the horizon which has fight fans counting the days until the cage doors slam shut and two warriors go to war. On January 31st, UFC 183 will feature two of the sport’s most well known figures in the main event. One is arguably the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of all time, Anderson Silva. The other is one of the sport’s most polarizing and equally talented athletes, Nick Diaz.

It is a fight for the ages between two of the greats of our generation. While their place in history is worlds apart, their place in the hearts and minds of the fans is unquestionable. They have earned vastly different reputations, yet in many aspects their reputations are also quite similar.

Having both been called into question for some of their in cage antics while taunting and disrespecting opponents, both men have been subject of scrutiny for their behavior at times. Another thing they have in common is their devastation of opponents along the way.

Silva has a penchant for dissecting and obliterating opponents with a poetic display of everything this sport has the potential to be. His assault is like fine art, its mesmerizing and unmistakable at the same time. For Diaz, it is a far less refined yet equally devastating approach. His raw personality shines true as he pummels his way through opponents with the famous Stockton slap. He attacks relentlessly stalking fighters and constantly baiting them into a war which he is more than prepared for. It’s not always pretty, but it is ridiculously effective more often than not.

The facts are these two warriors are about as entertaining and lethal as mixed martial artists can be. They represent a lifetime spent dedicated not only to martial arts, but the art of war. There is a reason their upcoming middleweight bout is one of the most anticipated fights MMA has seen in quite some time. That reason is the undeniable talent and ability of two of the sport’s most dangerous middleweights thrown into the fire together so we can all see what happens.

What will happen though?

What can fight fans expect from these two on January 31st? Even a few years ago with these two marching through the pinnacle of their respective careers that would be a question few could answer with certainty. Now they meet somewhat in obscurity at a time when no one really knows what to expect from either fighter.

It has been over a year since Silva has seen the inside of the Octagon, and the last time he did he was the victim of one of the most gruesome injuries we have ever seen in the sport. On the other hand, Diaz hasn’t competed almost two years. His last competition was an outclassing at the hands of the now retired Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight title.

To take those points a step or two further, Silva has not won a fight in over two years. The last meaningful victory was over Chael Sonnen on July 7th 2012. Forgive me but trouncing Stephan Bonnar amounts to a rough one sided sparring session, it was far from meaningful or competitive. Sorry Stephan.

For Diaz, the line is equally questionable. He hasn’t had his hand raised since October 2011 when he bludgeoned B.J. Penn in a one sided affair which was an amazing performance over a legend but far too deep in the past to hold any weight in today’s MMA landscape.

So with all the hype and excitement leading into this main event scrap between two legends of the game, it is hard to make any sound predictions with regard to what we can expect from either fighter or even more so from them as a combination in a five round affair.

For each man, their most recent victories are very deep in the rear view mirror. Both are coming out of long layoffs following back-to-back losses. Recent history has not been kind to either fighter. So what can we really expect when they meet in the middle of the Octagon?

With all of that said, these questions may play well for fight fans looking on. Sure their minds will drift towards Anderson Silva the legend, towards Nick Diaz the warlord. The past will dictate their expectations of the future. But these are not the fighters we remember them to be. While they may emerge on fight night and remind us of what we have been missing it is quite possible we will see watered down versions of the athletes the sport has come to know.

The good news is a watered down version of Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz can still be a high level and elite competition that many mixed martial artists can only dream to aspire to. Then again, they may not skip a beat and come into this fight guns a blazing and burn the building to the ground.

We can only hope they return to form and wreck one another in a way only these two are capable of.

Time will tell, but it just goes to show why we have far more questions than answers leading into one of the most anticipated match-ups the sport has seen in a long time. The only answers that matter will emerge once the dust has settled and one of them finds their hand raised. Only then will they and the fans know where they stand in their respective careers.

About The Author

Todd Jackson
Staff Writer

Todd Jackson is a lifelong combat arts fan. MMA in particular has become a passion over the years. As an analyst his write ups have been featured by such websites as ESPN, FOX Sports, and Sports Illustrated over the years. Todd has interviewed world champions and hall of fame fighters. Yet his true inspiration comes in studying the fighter of tomorrow, the rising regional athlete. Todd is also a cageside commentator for an Arizona based promotion which allows him very unique insight into the sport he loves.

  • StillSkillz

    Like Diaz but Silva isn’t human son is a robot