Despite getting finished in two straight title tilts, with the last fight ending in one of the most gruesome injuries in MMA history, UFC president Dana White states former middleweight king Anderson Silva (pictured) could find himself in a championship affair with a win over Nick Diaz.
“Anderson Silva is fighting Nick Diaz, and then Vitor Belfort and Chris Weidman will fight. Anderson Silva could fight the winner of that fight,” White said on Monday’s edition of Fox Sports 1’s ‘America’s Pregame’ show.
Not only has Silva lost two consecutive scraps, both to reigning champ Weidman, but he’s also been sitting the sidelines rehabbing the fractured shin he suffered last December. In addition, there’s new blood making their way up the rankings that also deserve consideration, most notably former Strikeforce champions Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Luke Rockhold.
Furthermore, if Weidman retains his belt against Belfort at UFC 184, would a trilogy against a man Silva has already lost twice to make sense? Silva knocked out Belfort with a front kick to the grill back 2011, so that rematch might be more sellable with Belfort as the champ.
However, Weidman is currently a 4-1 odds-on favorite to blast Belfort on February 28.
Finally, Silva could leapfrog the entire middleweight line with a victory over Diaz, who has now come out of retirement after each of his last two outings, which happened to be losses? The same Diaz who hasn’t competed at a weight more than 170 pounds since submitting Scott Smith in a 180-pound catchweight contest nine fights ago in 2009?
Silva’s résumé speaks for itself, arguably the best the game has ever witnessed, but he’s also turning 40 in five short months. It’s clear the UFC is struggling for superstars, though it might be time for everyone to accept the fact that “The Spider” ship has sailed.
Silva makes his anticipated return against Diaz on January 31 at UFC 183. The stakes could be high, for some reason…