The Hit List: The Top 5 Moments from UFC 183
In a night full of action from the main card down to the preliminary bouts, five moments stood out to us from UFC 183 in Las Vegas. From Nick Diaz proving us wrong, to Anderson Silva's inspiring return, to Miesha Tate gritting through a broken face, and more, read on to see our five favorite moments from Saturday night!
Nick Diaz's surprising success
Sure, two of the judges scored the fight five rounds to nothing for Anderson Silva, but Nick Diaz did a whole lot better and lasted a lot longer than we thought he would. Anderson Silva is good and big enough to have knocked out two light heavyweight hall of famers.
Nick Diaz is small enough to have essentially fought at lightweight before, when he beat Takanori Gomi. There's no way I thought Diaz would go five rounds with the much bigger and better Silva.
Yet, he did not only that, but also went about even with Silva on strikes over the course of the entire fight. Diaz landed about as many significant strikes as Silva, if not more, and he certainly threw more attempts.
In the clinch, Diaz managed to land flush punch after clean punch to Silva's dome. He also landed a good amount of leg kicks on "The Spider."
Silva, of course, controlled most of the pace of the bout and his biggest shots landed appeared to be a bit more powerful than Diaz's. Yet, it was impressive to see Diaz go toe-to-toe with Silva and earn the former champion's respect.
Anderson Silva's return
We would have never blamed Silva if he decided to call it quits after losing a second time to Chris Weidman. The man is a couple months shy of 40 right now, had been knocked around badly two straight times and had one of his legs snapped clean in half.
Silva secured his legacy long ago and had nothing more to prove. However, it has been inspiring to watch him doggedly refuse to let his leg injury be the reason he retires this past year.
Seeing the Brazilian weigh in on Friday was heart-warming, but watching him walk to the Octagon, fight once more, and then get his arm raised was plain satisfying. This is the perfect note for the all-time great to go out on.
The dominant champion was knocked down and had to once more become an underdog in life. He fought on, and through all the doubts — his own being foremost, more than likely — and got to do what he loved at least one more time.
Even the biggest Nick Diaz fan has to acknowledge that Silva inspired at UFC 183.
Miesha Tate's toughness
Let's leave aside the weird judging that saw two ringside officials score the third round 10-8 in Tate's favor, for the time being. That was plain silly.
However you scored her bantamweight contender's bout against Sara McMann, however, you have to admit that Miesha once more proved that she's more than a "Cupcake."
In the first round, McMann hit Tate so hard that it dropped her to the mat, and broke an orbital bone around her eye in two places. Even so, Tate managed to survive, fight on, and dominate the last part of the second round, and all of the third.
Tate may choose to accentuate her manners and sexuality outside of the cage when it comes to public relations, but on fight night, she's all business and there is no doubt that she's one of the toughest fighters in the entire world.
All the come-from-behind wins at UFC 183
While we're on the subject of coming from behind, goodness gracious there were a lot of come-from-behind wins Saturday night. Tate did it.
From Nick Diaz's and Anderson Silva's respective returns, all the way down the card, it seemed like UFC 183 was the comeback card. Great action, unpredictability and lots of finishes from more than one fighter who initially looked in over their head.
Tyron Woodley's forgiveness
Tyron Woodley had plenty reason to be mad at Kelvin Gastelum for badly missing weight and jeopardizing their co-main event. Leading into the fight, Woodley did his job by training and successfully completing a tough weight cut.
When Gastelum once more couldn't do the second half of that, Woodley was forced to decide between fighting a much bigger man, or not fighting and going home with about half the money he'd showed up to Las Vegas last week hoping to earn.
Woodley took the risk and stepped up and fought Gastelum, earning 30 percent of his opponent's purse by decree of the Nevada Athletic Commission. But, Woodley didn't do so with anger in his heart.
Instead, he let it go, personally told Gastelum that he didn't harbor any personal ill will towards him and then promised to return the 30 percent penalty cash to his opponent, after he beat him by decision. It could be fairly argued that Woodley deserves that rough third of Gastelum's purse because he was at such a disadvantage.
"The Chosen One" would hear nothing of that reasoning, however, and insisted that his opponent had been punished enough. Woodley showed uncommon perspective, class and love towards a man who he was being paid to fight.
Someone like Woodley shows that you don't have to be an animal just because you fight like one.