(Silva vs. Diaz fan-made poster, via Shawn James)
By legendary CagePotato commenter/lurker “Old, Bald and Irish”
Of all of the upcoming matchups on the horizon for the UFC, one of them stands above the rest: Nick Diaz versus Anderson Silva at UFC 183.
Now, if this match happened two years ago, the hype would be off the charts. But today, the MMA community is looking at this event with curiosity rather than fevered passion. Sure. Eyeballs will be on this fight — mostly to see what Anderson Silva will look like in the ring following his horrific injury. But Nick Diaz as his opponent? Eh…maybe not so much.
What the hell happened?
It was just a short year-and-a-half ago when the MMA world was going wild for UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz (aka UFC 158: CANADA!…America’s Hat). This was MMA alchemy at its finest. Georges had defended his belt seven times and was clearly the king of his weight class. Nick was the trash talkin’, dope smokin’, Nashville brawlin’ fanboy favorite.
UFC 158 pulled in 950,000 pay-per-view buys. Not too shabby, especially compared to the buyrates the UFC has been pulling in lately. Both guys had hardcore MMA fan heat going in, but after St-Pierre dismantled Diaz, it proved what we pretty much knew going into the fight: Georges is a better wrestler, striker and tactician than Diaz. Period.
After beating up a past-his-prime BJ Penn, the “super fight” with St. Pierre did nothing to help Nick’s reputation. Quite the contrary, it damaged it even more and showed why Diaz isn’t on anyone’s Top 10 P4P list anymore. Now, after retiring “for realz” and spending nearly two years out of the cage (*COUGH* “ring rust” *COUGH*) Diaz is coming back to take on one of, if not the, greatest fighter in MMA history. What?
I’m looking for Nick’s silver lining, but short of a pot-fueled-double-middle-fingered-gogoplata or a pants-shitting-KO, I don’t see an upside for the scrappy pugilist from Stockton. Let’s take a few moments to be negative bastards and look at the probable and unfortunate near-future for the elder Diaz…