Here at Cagewriter, we're all for Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz fighting one another, since they want to. It's a strange, freak-show type of super fight but also makes sense in certain ways for both men, so we're looking forward to it taking place early next year.
Recent comments from UFC president Dana White which seemed to leave the door open to the fight having title implications, however, may make us re-think our enthusiasm. “I’m pretty pumped for that fight,” White told said recently.
“Anderson, I can’t wait until he comes back. He’s one of my favorite fighters. And you know Nick Diaz. He’s exciting, and that’s the fight Nick wanted. That’s the fight the fans wanted to see. So we did it.”
Fair enough. We're there with ya, Dana.
“Anderson’s ranked No. 1 in the world right now at 185,” White continued, unbelievably, in reference to the UFC's official, but dubious and self-serving rankings.
“So obviously, Diaz, who is a 170-pounder, if he beats Anderson, it would be a pretty big statement for him."
Sure, Diaz moving up in weight and beating perhaps the best fighter in MMA history would be a "big statement." Calling a nearly 40-year old Silva, who is coming off of two straight knock out losses and who would not have fought in over a year the number one middleweight contender is silly (almost as silly as letting an un-licensed Vitor Belfort juice up and fight his way to a title shot abroad, and then letting him keep that title shot after failing another drug test once he was tested by a real commission once more, this year).
We're not so opposed to Diaz getting a middleweight title shot were he to beat Silva as we are scared about what it could mean to have "The Spider" ranked #1. Should Diaz manage to beat the Brazilian legend, he would be a marketable challenger for Chris Weidman or whoever is the middleweight champ at that point.
However, pretending that Anderson Silva is the top contender at this points means that, should he beat Diaz as he should be favored to do, he should then be put into another title fight right afterwards.
That wouldn't be fair or particularly safe for the all-time great. If Silva insists on coming back from his long lay-off and horrible leg injury after being knocked out two fights in a row, Diaz is a fair opponent for him to do so against because the Californian is so much smaller and doesn't seem to possess one-punch KO power.
Putting Silva in against Weidman for a third time, however, would be leading him to the slaughter. Over four rounds, he's had absolutely nothing for the "All-American", on the feet or on the ground, been knocked out twice (he was, briefly, in the first round of the second fight), and had a leg broken in half.
What if Belfort were to beat Weidman, you may ask. Well, if Silva vs. Weidman III would be dangerous for the former champ, how much safer would it be for him to fight the guy who has been able to beat Weidman?
Not much, it would seem. Hopefully White is drumming up interest in Silva vs. Diaz and isn't serious about ranking the Muay Thai expert as the number one contender.
The UFC's official rankings are put together by pandering media members and changed around whenever the promotion fancies it, including when they are at an impasse during contract negotiations with a ranked fighter (Nate Diaz). The ranking charade is mostly harmless, but we'll draw the line at getting a beloved fighter in Anderson Silva in over his head at this point in his career.
What does Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz mean to you? Let us know in the comments section.