The legendary Anderson Silva is reportedly set to return to the Octagon on Super Bowl weekend to throw down with Nick Diaz but what will be the UFC odds on this tilt and what does the future hold for Silva?
Silva’s Bullet Proof No More
I sensed the beginning of the end for Anderson Silva shortly after he escaped his fight with Chael Sonnen in their first match. While predicting that the passing of the torch was near for this historic champion it cannot be considered a stretch, particularly when the subject in question is firmly in his late 30’s. Therefore I was stunned that there were legions that refused to believe he was still invincible. No middle-aged athlete gets better with time, and Anderson Silva is no exception.
But he shut my mouth pretty tight when he proceeded to eviscerate Vitor Belfort, Yushin Okami, Chale Sonnen (Part Deux) and then stepped up to the light heavyweight division to throttle Stephan Bonnar. Yet none of those fighters were young guns looking to make a name. All were in their 30’s with arguably their best fighting days behind them.
However when I saw Chris Weidman, a 20-something who had recently defeated a world class mat master in Demian Maia and then scored a Knockout of the Night over power puncher Mark Munoz, I knew Silva would have his hands full. If you recall, Weidman was slated as a +220 underdog in UFC odds in their first go-round and I wrote an entire article articulating exactly why this was one dog that had plenty of bite. It cashed and millions of Silva fans were confronted with the fact that a new day had dawned in the middleweight division.
Six months later I predicted Weidman would do it all over again and this time the offshore books had him installed as a chalkier +138 in UFC odds at places like WilliamHill.com. Weidman cashed again after Silva threw a leg kick that Weidman checked which shattered his tibia and fibula. Silva insists that his loss at UFC 168 was bad luck and not a loss as he stated here:
"I believe that, if you pay attention to these technical details, you will see that (checking the kick) was instinct, not something that he trained to do," Silva said during an interview to Globo. "No, I don’t think (Weidman should consider it a win). It was an accident. And I’m pretty sure I would have won the fight."
Sorry Anderson, the offshore bookmakers don’t agree with you, and neither do those who bet Weidman.
The Spider Returns
The night before Super Bowl XLIX, Anderson Silva will return to the Octagon in Las Vegas though the exact venue has yet to be named. Nick Diaz will be the man staring across the cage from Silva and as we all know, the Diaz brothers ain’t no joke. The soon to be 31-year-old ruffian from Stockton, California is the perfect foil for Silva if he is to seek redemption from his consecutive defeats and get one more crack at the man who tarnished his legacy.
As of this moment, Silva is a -240 favorite in UFC odds to defeat Diaz and regain the spotlight he basked in for so long. However, if you have ever watched Nick Diaz, and for that matter his brother Nate, you know there is no retreat, no surrender in this talented fighter. Though I am not a fan of Diaz as I find his “Stockton Swag” a bit too disrespectful to his opponents and the sport for my taste, I am nonetheless convinced this is a bad fight for the former champ. However, it may be the only fight for Silva if he is to get one more chance at enhancing his already towering legacy.