Anderson Silva returned to the octagon after a 13-month absence with a win over Nick Diaz at UFC 183.
Silva, whose clowning cost him his consciousness in his first bout with Chris Weidman, endured Nick Diaz’s clowning throughout the fight but little else. Silva characteristically employed fists, elbows, knees, and feet to carve up his opponent and win convincingly. But the 39-year-old’s performance, decisioning a semi-retired, blown-up welterweight tailor-made for the former middleweight champion’s skillset, may not have convinced fans that a prime Spider will ever return after his horrifying leg break from a Chris Weidman checked kick in late 2013.
“This is a very important moment for me and for my whole family,” Silva explained after the fight. “I’ve been through a lot of stuff in the past year, everything I went through. In the beginning, I didn’t think I would be able to come back.”
The judges saw the fight 50-45, 50-45, and 49-46 for the Brazilian.
The main card witnessed welterweight Tyrone Woodley edge Kevin Gastelum on the cards, lightweight Al Iaquinta extend his winning streak to three with a stoppage of Joe Lauzon, middleweight Thales Leites play sandman to Tim Boetsch via an arm-triangle choke, and Thiago Alves end Jordan Mein’s night with a second-round body kick followed by punches.
“In the second round my coach told me to punch and kick at the same time so I could break that gap,” Alves reflected after his eighth consecutive win. “He’s a little bit taller than me, so I had trouble closing the distance in the first round. I know Mein is the number 13 ranked guy in the division, without a doubt I’m in the top ten. I’ve been with the organization for 10 years and the division needs to know I’m back. I’d like to stay a lot more active and fight at least two more times this year.”