On July 24, the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced that it had reached agreement on a three-fight contract extension for Nick Diaz, drawing the former welterweight contender out of retirement.
Five days later, the organization announced Diaz would face former middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 183 on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas.
“I never thought in my career that I would face Nick Diaz. He’s a guy that I’ve watched all of his fights. He’s got great jiu-jitsu, and this fight has all the ingredients to be one of the best fights of all time,” said Silva during a recent media conference call.
“This fight is going to be excellent for the fans. This is going to be excellent for myself, and for Nick Diaz as well. We both haven’t stepped in the Octagon for quite a while,” added the former middleweight titleholder.
“Nick Diaz is a guy that walks forward. He’s got great boxing skills, and he’s going to come to fight. I believe it’s going to be one of the best stand-up battles in the UFC.”
Silva and Diaz are known for their in-Octagon antics. They taunt their opponents, showboat, and regularly can be seen talking during bouts. But Silva is hoping Diaz keeps it professional in the lead-up to the fight and inside the cage.
“I don’t know him as a person. He doesn’t know me as a person. I’ve had a chance to talk to him a few times. He’s never been disrespectful. I hope it keeps this way. The day of the fight, we just get together, get in the Octagon, and put on a great show for the fans,” said the 39-year-old Brazilian.
“I just want to put on a great show for myself and the fans.”