“The Spider” returns to the Octagon tonight, as Anderson Silva takes on Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 183.
Set for Las Vegas and pay-per-view, Silva, a former UFC middleweight champion, will be fighting for the first time since breaking his leg in 2013. Diaz is also returning after a self-imposed retirement.
Other bouts include Tyron Woodley vs. Kelvin Gastelum, Al Iaquinta vs. Joe Lauzon, Miesha Tate vs. Sara McMann and John Lineker vs. Ian McCall.
Check out the media notes surrounding those fights and more below:
A LEGEND RISES
A little over a year ago, UFC fans around the world thought they’d seen the last of the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. The image of Anderson Silva potentially suffering a career-ending injury in the middle of the Octagon was an unimaginable situation that was playing out in front of millions. For a man that holds numerous UFC records, including the most title defenses in organization history, it was not the proper end to his storied career. However, from day one Silva vowed he would return. Pushing aside all doubters along the way and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds on the way to recovery, Silva now makes his monumental return to the Octagon. With a win here, “The Spider” earns a UFC title shot with the chance to come full circle in his quest to reclaim glory.
DON’T BE SCARED: The sport’s ultimate bad boy, Nick Diaz, finally returns to the Octagon, where he’s become known for bringing out a very different side in anyone he stands across the cage from. Armed with unprecedented support and loyalty from the diehard MMA fan base, Diaz has been able to expose a level of animosity and competitiveness that many fighters typically shy away from when speaking publicly about their opponent. Diaz is a fighter seemingly destined for big matchups, having fought St-Pierre, Condit and Penn in three consecutive main event outings. By getting under the skin of some of the UFC’s top talent, the Stockton, Calif. native has developed a knack for elevating himself to No. 1 on every fan’s must-see list. Following a 22-month layoff, the trash-talking grappler may have already begun his systematic game plan against the greatest fighter ever.
CONTENDERS WILL EMERGE
The co-main event features a battle of top-10 ranked welterweights who will jockey for position in one of the promotion’s most talent-rich divisions. When third-ranked Tyron Woodley meets No. 7 Kelvin Gastelum, one of the two fighters will emerge as a legitimate contender for champ Robbie Lawler’s belt. With Johny Hendricks set to face Matt Brown at UFC 185 and Rory MacDonald battling Hector Lombard, a clear contender has the chance to emerge in the crowded 170-pound title picture come Saturday night.
With champion Ronda Rousey’s place atop the women’s bantamweight division cemented, two former foes will do battle in hopes of securing another crack at the undefeated champ. Miesha Tate and Sara McMann are arguably the two toughest opponents Rousey has faced thus far, and when the two women collide they’ll be banking on a strong performance to convince the world they deserve another shot.
With bad blood already brewing, flyweights Ian McCall and John Lineker will finally collide after an earlier meeting was postponed. With Lineker first missing weight, followed by an illness suffered by McCall shortly thereafter, the two are pointing the finger at their opponent as to why the fight didn’t happen in November. The winner will likely get the next shot at champion Demetrious Johnson with top contender John Dodson sidelined until mid-2015. McCall has already had a couple run-ins with the champ – fighting to a draw in their first meeting and dropping a decision in their most recent clash. Should Lineker emerge the victor and earn a title shot, it would be his first crack at Johnson, and he has that one-punch knockout power to get the job done.
As young talent continues to develop in the UFC, the time is now for prospects to become contenders, as welterweight Jordan Mein returns to action.
While Mein is only 25 years old, he’s been around the game for a long time. With a 29-9 record, the Canadian is starting to gain notoriety for his electric striking and 23 wins by way of finish. Coming off a devastating knockout of Mike Pyle, Mein hopes an impressive performance against former world title challenger Thiago Alves will catapult him into the top-10, making him a legitimate contender in the 170-pound division.