The Nevada State Athletic Commission met on Monday to address 22 agenda items. Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s request for a license to fight Nick Diaz at UFC 183 on Jan. 31 was unanimously approved. The referee and judges for the bout were also determined during the hearing.
Veteran referee “Big” John McCarthy will be the third man in the octagon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the UFC 183 main event. The three cage-side judges will be Sal D’Amato, Marcos Rosales and Glenn Trowbridge.
The event will be Silva’s return to fighting after suffering a broken leg in his rematch with champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168 in December 2013. When the commission asked about the status of his leg, Silva said, “Good. It’s great.”
Both fighters are coming off back-to-back losses, but if Silva wins it could set up a third bout against Weidman.
UFC president Dana White said during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight that a win could earn Silva a title shot against the winner of Weidman and Vitor Belfort, who fight for the middleweight title at UFC 184 on Feb. 28.
“2015 is starting off with amazing fights — Probably the best January in the company’s history. And all these fights lead to bigger fights,” White said.
“Diaz and Anderson Silva are fighting, and obviously if Anderson Silva wins that fight, and whether Vitor or Weidman win that fight, then you have Anderson Silva versus either one of those guys,” the UFC president.
If Belfort defeats Weidman on Feb. 28, Silva has no interest in fighting another Brazilian for the belt. Silva recently told Brazilian news outlet Globo that he will not fight a fellow Brazilian in a title fight. He defeated Belfort by knockout at UFC 126, but feels that he’s “at another phase” in his career now.
“If I have the chance to fight for the title again against Weidman or another fighter other than a Brazilian, I would fight for sure,” Silva said.