Say what you want about UFC star Nick Diaz, but he’s certainly not afraid to take dangerous fights. We knew that with Paul Daley, we knew it with Georges St-Pierre and we know it with Anderson Silva.
Fresh off the announcement that the UFC has signed Diaz to a new three-fight deal, the immediate rumor in the works is that Diaz will face Silva next year during Super Bowl Week, a regular time frame for one of the UFC’s major pay-per-view events. Even a year past its due date, the match is still incredibly interesting for several reasons.
First, it’ll be Silva’s first fight back after his leg fracture and Diaz will be facing nearly two years of ring rust, his longest layoff yet. Also, both fighters are coming off two losses. But with that said, it would be a fresh test of both fighters’ drawing power.
However, there’s one thing being overlooked in all the excitement, and it’s rather important. Anderson Silva is one of the worst style matchups humanly possible for Diaz.
First, consider the size difference between both MMA fighters. Silva has flirted between middleweight (185 pounds) and light heavyweight (205 pounds) in his UFC career with massive success. It also helps that he has a very lanky frame and some of the best striking in mixed martial arts. His arsenal is both well-rounded and complete, able to fend off wrestlers, boxers, grapplers and high-level Jiu-Jitsu players.
Diaz, on the other hand, has fought anywhere between lightweight and 180 pounds, just shy of the middleweight limit. He’s also shorter than Silva, with a slightly shorter reach and leg length. Sure, Diaz also has plenty of the same qualities as Silva, but at a glance, almost none of his best strengths can really compare against the Brazilian’s talents. No matter where you look—striking, footwork, reflexes, wrestling, clinch work and so on—Silva holds a ridiculous advantage.
About the only area where Diaz may have just the slightest edge is his chin, since it’s nearly impossible to knock him out. But if there was one fighter would could do it in five rounds, it would be Silva.
So, while fans can rejoice if this fight actually happens, just know that Diaz is facing his most uphill battle possible. And if Silva is in prime form on his return, it’s probably going to be a bloodbath.