Dana White: Anderson Silva gets title shot with UFC 183 win
Despite having lost his last two fights by TKO, and sitting out for over a year with a horrific leg injury, Anderson Silva will receive another middleweight title shot should he beat natural welterweight Nick Diaz later this month at UFC 183. That news comes from UFC president Dana White, who announced Wednesday on FOX Sports 1’s UFC Tonight program that "The Spider" will get a shot against the winner of UFC 184’s middleweight title matchup between champ Chris Weidman and challenger Vitor Belfort, should he beat Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 183.
"Diaz and Anderson Silva are fighting, and obviously if Anderson Silva wins that fight, and whether Vitor or Weidman win, then you have Anderson Silva versus either one of those guys," White said.
Silva dominated the middleweight division from late 2006 to 2013, before getting knocked out by Weidman at UFC 162. Silva then received an automatic rematch against Weidman five months later at UFC 168, where Weidman once more dominated him before finishing him via TKO in the second round.
In that second bout, Silva was taken down and appeared to be knocked out in the first round, before coming to and being saved by the bell. In the second round, Silva had leg kicks checked by Weidman, the final one of which snapped the longtime middleweight king’s leg.
Silva has worked hard to return to competition in spite of the injury and his age. In April, the Brazilian will turn 40 years old.
On Jan. 31, he will face fellow returning star Diaz, who usually competes at welterweight, but has fought as low as 160 pounds, and who has also lost his last two fights by decision. Silva will be a huge favorite to beat Diaz, despite his long layoff.
He’s lost four straight rounds to and been stopped twice by Weidman. On the other hand, Silva easily knocked out Belfort back in 2011, via front kick to the face.
These potential rematches may be stale, but all three names (especially Belfort and Silva) are big, so it would appear that the UFC is putting sales potential above all. Contenders like Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Yoel Romero are fighting on the undercard of UFC 184, and top contender Luke Rockhold says he expects to face the man to have given Weidman his stiffest challenge to date, Lyoto Machida, soon.
One might expect winners from one of those bouts to get the next crack at the 185 pound title, but none of those top potential challengers carry the name recognition and fan base of Silva.
As for fighting Belfort again, Silva recently insisted that he would only fight non-Brazilians for UFC gold, moving forward. He and Belfort had a heated rivalry heading into their 2011 bout, but Silva has said that all of Brazil should now get behind Weidman as he vies for a world title.
Do you want to see Silva fight Weidman or Belfort again? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!