It didn’t take long for Nick Diaz to respond to the news that Octagon legend Anderson Silva was interested in facing him in his UFC return. The former two-time UFC welterweight title challenger, who hasn’t fought since a loss to Georges St.Pierre in March of 2013, told UFC Tonight that he’s willing to face “The Spider” if the price is right.
It’s a fight that Diaz has always wanted and the timing seems perfect for it to finally happen.
Diaz has made it clear that there are only a few select matchups that would lure him back, and a Silva fight happens to be one of them. He’s gone on record as saying he wouldn’t fight again for less than a $500,000 payday. It’s possible he could ask for even more money to face the longtime former middleweight champion, who is considered one of the sport’s all-time greats.
Diaz has been around the block long enough to know the kind of excitement that this fight would generate and the PPV buys that it would deliver.
Stylistically, it’s the type of matchup that Diaz would also embrace, as both men are known for their striking skills. Diaz wouldn’t have to worry about being taken down by his opponent, and would get the chance to try and utilize his boxing prowess against the always-dangerous Silva.
Silva has made a remarkable recovery since suffering a broken leg against Chris Weidman in their middleweight title affair back in December at UFC 168. He’s never really been out of the spotlight, given the many videos that have been churned out by his team, showing the various stages of his rehabilitation process. It’s also no secret that the UFC has missed his star power during what’s been a tough 2014 so far when it comes to generating PPV buys.
The 39-year-old Brazilian superstar is targeting an early 2015 return to action. Just the thought of Silva vs. Diaz possibly headlining a Super Bowl weekend UFC event would have promotion seeing nothing but dollar signs. The fan and media interest would be immense in seeing these two stars make their return on the same night against one another.
Now the financial ball is in the UFC’s court when it comes to dealing with Diaz. With both high-profile fighters interested in the matchup, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t get done.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports