UFC 183 Preview

ufc_183The UFC has started their year off with some massive fights but UFC 183 will be one of the most anticipated fights of the year. Most of the excitement has been built due to the return of the most dominant champion in UFC history. Anderson Silva was the most dominant fighter to ever step into the octagon winning the middleweight title in his second fight in the UFC. After that win in 2006 Silva continued to hold the title for a total of ten title defences, a UFC record. No fighter had been as dominant in the UFC as he had almost cleared out an entire division. There was nobody that could challenge the champion and it seemed like he was going to end his career undefeated. There has rarely been a fighter that can clean out almost an entire division by himself. That is what Silva did as there were not many fighters left in the division that could beat him. Then came Chris Weidman who beat Silva, not once, but twice to take the middleweight title and end an eight year championship reign. The last fight between them was the one that kept Silva out for a year and had many believing he was ready to retire. During the fight Silva continued to unleash kicks on Weidman who continued to check them until finally Silva went again and broke his own leg. Now just over a year from breaking his leg he is ready to return to the octagon and go after the belt that he lost. Silva won’t be the only fighter returning to the octagon though as his opponent will also be making his first appearance in over a year. Nick Diaz is one of the most polarizing figures in MMA and much of that has to do with his attitude. That attitude was the reason he took time off from fighting after losing to Georges St. Pierre in March 2013. After that fight, one that Diaz believed he won, he said that he was done with fighting and since then he has not been in the octagon. Since then he has stated that he is fine with returning but he does not want to climb up the rankings, he only wants big fights that are going to be worth it. That type of fight came up for UFC 183 as he had the chance to take on one of the biggest names in the UFC in a main event of a pay per view event. Both fighters are somewhat similar in that they have the stand-up game to compete with anyone and very underrated Jiu Jitsu that can end a fight quickly on the mat. The difference between them is the attitude they bring to the octagon. Silva is a come and composed fighter who has always looked at peace when he walks into the octagon. Diaz is a different story as he is the picture of anger with a stare that nobody wants to be on the wrong side of when they face him. They take that attitude into their fighting styles as well with Silva waiting for his opponents to come after him and let him counter to earn a knockout. Diaz, on the other hand, comes after his opponents and looks to make them so uncomfortable with his pace and aggressiveness that their defence eventually cracks and he earns the KO. With the two competing styles it should make for a great match but there is one major question, will Silva be the same? The question stems from the broken leg that he suffered and his layoff after losing two straight fights. It is plenty of things that Silva has never dealt with and he will have to get all of that out of his mind in a main event of a pay per view event with plenty of people watching. The talk is not the same for Diaz because he didn’t go out on an injury and the thing that makes him so great is his fire, which will likely never go away. Silva was once the greatest fight in the UFC and now he is trying to reclaim that title while Diaz is trying to end the coronation and spoil the party. It will be a close fight as both fighters have the ability to end it but Silva has been waiting for this moment for too long and will take the win with a third round TKO to announce his return to the UFC.

As a legend returns to the octagon in the main event one fighter is trying to get to that level at some point will enter his biggest fight. Kelvin Gastelum was the youngest winner of The Ultimate Fighter in the history of the show but has not received a lot of hype since then. He has remained on main cards and has slowly climbed the welterweight rankings but still he is not usually mentioned among the most exciting fighters to watch. For that he often gets overlooked as a potential title contender in the welterweight division, especially with the battle going on at the top. Yet he holds one of the longest win streaks in the UFC and continues to prove that he has what it takes to be a top contender. With five straight wins including two submissions, Gastelum is looking to make his name known at UFC 183. One of those submissions came in his last fight against by far his best opponent of his career. When Gastelum choked out Jake Ellenberger in the co-main event of UFC 180 it was a message that he was ready to make some noise in the division. Now he gets that chance again in taking on a top three fighter in the welterweight division. Gastelum will face-off with Tyron Woodley in an attempt to enter the title conversation but Woodley won’t make it easy. He continues to make his mark on the division and despite a loss to Rory MacDonald he remains one of the best welterweights in the UFC and is looking to take his own shot at the title. It is all about making an impression for both fighters in this co-main event and it is sure to be a close one. Gastelum does not seem to be great at any one aspect of the sport but he is so well-rounded that he also does not have many weaknesses. His wrestling background makes it seem more comfortable on the ground and has the ability to end fights there while he has yet to show knockout power. Woodley is also a well-rounded fighter with a wrestling background but prefers to stand and use his strength and athleticism to put fighters away. If either one can win impressively they will find their way to the mess at the top of the division and begin being mention among the top three contenders.

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