Anderson Silva has a name and a date.
The former middleweight champion returns after a 13-month hiatus at UFC 183 to fight the recently un-retired Nick Diaz on January 31, 2015. The fight marks the legendary cage fighter’s first appearance in the octagon since he suffered a gruesome tibia break on a checked leg kick against Chris Weidman in December of 2013. The Joe Theismann-like injury appeared to play the coda for Silva’s storied career. But the Brazilian has steadfastly refused to end on that low note.
The five-round main event appears to be just what both fighters wanted. For Diaz, he gets pay-per-view dollars and a marquee match-up. For Silva, he gets a smaller, slower opponent happy to stand and trade whose main skill-set lacks the 39-year-old’s Achilles heel (wrestling).
The fight will take place in Las Vegas on Super Bowl weekend. Crucially, Diaz, accustomed to fighting at 170, takes on the Spider, a mainstay at 185 who occasionally competed at 205, at middleweight.