(Wait…Nick Diaz IS WHITE?!!! via r/MMA user joenottoast)
The MMAsphere suffered a collective Scanners.gif headsplosion when it was announced that Nick Diaz would be returning from a brief hiatus/retirement to face Anderson Silva at UFC 183 in January. While most of us were undeniably stoked at the idea of seeing Diaz Stockton Slap the G.O.A.T and/or seeing Silva unleash a Hadouken on Diaz’s jabroni ass, there were a few naysayers out there who were quick to dub this fight a “freak show” or “squash match.”
“Are you kidding me? Silva’s going to murder this chump!” said one Twitter expert whose name I cannot recall.
“Pssh, Silva is done. The only thing left to do is have Diaz beat him into retirement,” said another, angrier group of tweeters in response.
And indeed, with Silva’s leg and Diaz’s mind remaining in constant question, the superfight has fiercely divided MMA fans who mistakenly fancy themselves psychics. But the important question, as is always the important question in these cases, is: What do the bookies think?
It is widely accepted that Vegas bookies are all-knowing, all-seeing demigods who could predict with 99.9% certainty if you were about to fart before you even did that half-ass tilt off your chair. They’re truly the closest thing we have to the precogs in Minority Report, which makes sense given that their lives usually depend on their ability to screw us out of money.
But when it comes to Silva, even the Vegas bookies can tend to get a little out of hand. “The Spider” was a 2-1 favorite heading into his rematch with Chris Weidman at UFC 162, despite the fact that he had been KTFO in their first match. He was also listed as an eyebrow-raising 13-1 favorite when moving up a weight class to take on a juiced-up Stephan Bonnar, which turned out to be completely accurate. Against Diaz, a natural welterweight who will be giving away a couple inches in reach and height, surely Silva would be a monster favorite, no?
Well, kind of, but not as bad as we thought he’d be. 5dimes currently has Silva listed as a -420 favorite to Diaz’s +300. Over at Bovada, Diaz is being given slightly better odds at +265 to Silva’s -350.
These early numbers are no doubt influenced by the fact that Diaz, who will most certainly try to engage Silva in a stand up affair, was outstruck by Carlos Condit back at UFC 143. Then again, the vast majority of strikes that Condit landed in that fight were leg kicks, which Silva might be a little hesitant to use given recent history.
But if you ask me, the safest bet to make is still the prop that Diaz flips Silva off no less than 3 times before the fight is over. All powerful is the Stockton Heybuddy, ye.