There are some athletes that transcend their respective sport. Michael Jordan changed the way we think about clutch basketball performances. Joe Montana showed us that some quarterbacks play the best under the biggest spotlight. Anderson Silva has showed us that right when you think you’ve seen everything in a fight, there’s always another way you can knock somebody out.
This Saturday, the best mixed martial artist of all time makes his return to the UFC octagon. As if you needed other reasons than that to tune in, here’s my top 4:
1. This is Anderson’s First Fight Back Since His Gruesome Leg InjuryEmbed from Getty Images
When Anderson Silva fractured his leg against Chris Weidman, it truly was the “break heard around the world”. It was a top story for many days, with even the likes of ESPN making it a headline. At 37 years old, it made sense for Anderson to hang up his gloves. Writers and critics alike began to reflect on the magical career that Anderson had and debate his legacy as possibly the greatest of time. Everyone expected that to be his last fight.
Anderson Silva had other plans.
Resuming kicking after only mere months since completely breaking both his tibia and fibula, it was rumored that Anderson would fight again. For more on Anderson’s miraculous recovery, watch the “Countdown to UFC 183” video above:
2. Nick Diaz Could Make HistoryEmbed from Getty Images
Love him or hate him, Nick Diaz is one of the more memorable characters in MMA. Up to this point, he’s gotten booked in some big fights primarily due to the fact that he talks a lot of trash, mostly to people in his weight class (very smart). After losing to Carlos Condit and “retiring” briefly, Diaz then fought Champion Georges St. Pierre and also lost to him.
Nearly two years after his last fight, Diaz is back in the UFC octagon and fighting at 185 for the first time in his career. If he loses this fight, it would be three in a row for Diaz, the once Welterweight Strikeforce champion. Win or lose, Diaz will bring a tenacity to this fight that only he will, and that’s what makes it a must-see fight.
3. If Silva Wins, We Get to See Silva vs. Weidman IIIEmbed from Getty Images
Dana White has already come out and said that Anderson Silva will get a title shot against Chris Weidman if indeed he does beat Nick Diaz on Saturday. Some might argue that he shouldn’t get a title shot after beating a guy that doesn’t even fight in the same weight class. Nevertheless, he is considered to be the pound-for-pound greatest of all time, and with that there are some perks. Perks for Anderson, and lots of money for the UFC.
With Anderson approaching 40 years old, it’s the least they could do for him. To fight back from such a bad injury and to also be the face of the UFC during it’s most crucial years, they practically owe it to him.
4. Kelvin Gastelum vs Tyron Woodley Should End in a KOEmbed from Getty Images
Other than the most hyped up fight since Fall of 2014, there are other exciting fights on this UFC 183 card. One that I foresee being particularly entertaining is the co-main event between Kelvin and Tyron. Kelvin hasn’t lost an exhibition or professional fight throughout his career. After winning TUF 17, he has also beaten the like Jake Ellenberger and Rick Story to solidify himself among the top ranked Welterweights.
Nobody will deny that Tyron Woodley has knockout power. Tyron was within titleshot reach but had a bad UD loss to Rory MacDonald and it set him back in the rankings. His last 4 wins are by either KO or TKO and I see if going for a similar type of finish to get through the likes of Gastelum.