Two UFC icons who have been out of action for an extended period of time for different reasons will meet in the UFC 183 main event on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva returns to the Octagon for the first time since dramatically breaking his leg at UFC 168 in December 2013 to take on former Strikeforce welterweight titleholder Nick Diaz who has been voluntarily sidelined since March 2013.
“I would maybe favor Diaz if that fight would have been at a catch-weight because if it’s a five-round, the odds are the very durable fighter – I’ve seen him in very bad positions and in a lot of trouble. He’s very, very hard to finish,” said the Canadian.
“I believe Diaz made a mistake by accepting that fight at 185. I think he should have made a catch-weight. It would have been more fair,” added St-Pierre.
While the former 170-pound king believes Silva has an advantage with the fight taking place at middleweight, he thinks Diaz will find success if the fight goes to the later rounds.
“I believe that, in the early part of the fight, I believe Silva will have an advantage. But if Diaz can survive and weather the storm, I believe he can come back strong in the end, in the last part of the fight, in the fourth and fifth round,” said St-Pierre.
Silva is heavily favored in his return bout by the oddsmakers, but St-Pierre warns that Diaz brings something to the table that he had never seen before fighting him at UFC 158.
“He’s a very durable fighter and he brings — when you fight him, he brings a different intensity that I’ve never seen before,” said the former titleholder. “You feel claustrophobic a little bit. You loose a lot of energy because he’s constantly pushing you forward, and it’s very hard to fight a guy like him, especially in the later rounds.”