UFC 183 had an aura about it. The main event in particular boasted much lead-up hype and delivered in some areas while failing to meet the mark in others. At first glance, it was an impressive performance and win by an all-time pound-for-pound great. Below the surface though was the performance all that impressive?

A win is a win in MMA. Just ask John Lineker who failed to make weight yet still defeated Ian McCall. While the weight cutting blunder will be remembered, a year from now its a W in the left column for Lineker and an L on the right for McCall. The same can be said for Silva, who earned the W over a game Nick Diaz. Somehow though that W won’t be celebrated like many of Silva’s previous victories.

Say what you will about the long layoff but that is a sword that cuts both ways. Neither fighter had set foot inside an Octagon in competition for what seemed like an eternity. With that said the layoff was really a wash for both fighters. That is to say you can’t take away from one performance due to ring rust without diminishing the other.

Either way the fact of the matter is Nick Diaz is a true savage who was last fighting fifteen pounds south of the 185 weight class he met Anderson Silva at. He threw caution into the wind and returned from his long layoff to step up in weight to face one of the greatest if not the greatest fighter of all time. That fighter Silva has shown the ability to easily compete as high as light heavyweight and smash fighters who live at that weight.

The contrast alone played heavily in favor of Silva, all skill differentials aside. Yet on fight night it didn’t appear as though there were any advantages for either fighter. Sure Silva was able to win the exchanges but they were exchanges that once upon a time would have stopped any five round affair in its tracks with nine out of ten opponents lying on their back with a referee standing over them arms waiving.

Consider if you will Silva’s prior ability to not only decimate world class athletes, but do so even a weight class higher than he typically competed at. Now consider that Diaz typically fights a weight class below Silva’s comfort zone.

The math would tell you it was only a matter of time before Silva found his mark. While nobody expected Diaz to go quietly, the writing should have been clear on the wall. It was Silva’s fight to lose, and most likely in dominant fashion.

No one is trying to take away from a win for the man known as The Spider. In fact he took the fight to a game opponent and together they put on a fun main event. The question just begs to be asked was that the best we can expect from Anderson Silva moving forward?

If the answer is yes then retirement must be the answer. No one wants to see this man dismantled. The Anderson Silva we know must be the wrecking machine we celebrate every time we think of highlight reel MMA. That was not the Silva we saw Saturday night.

If that Anderson Silva is really a thing of the past then his legacy is already set and it is by far and away one of the most impressive we have ever had the pleasure of seeing. If the future holds anything other than that hopefully he takes the advice of his family and hangs up the gloves and ends his incredible fighting career on a top shelf match-up with Nick Diaz.

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.