Anderson Silva, apparently not interested in retiring anymore, calls for Nick Diaz rematch

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Two months after threatening to retire from MMA, Anderson Silva is calling for a rematch with Nick Diaz.

“I believe this was one of the best fights in the history of this sport,” Silva wrote to Diaz on his Instagram account. “With all my respect Nick. Let’s show how it’s done. I will wait your reply, maximum respect to the Diaz family.”

Instagram Photo

Silva fumed at the UFC for not giving him an interim middleweight title fight with Yoel Romero after a bout with Kelvin Gastelum fell through at UFC 212. The battle lines seemed drawn between the former middleweight champ and the promotion. Silva promised to call it quits if he didn’t get the fight. UFC President Dana White called his bluff.

Now, “The Spider” is pivoting, curiously toward an old foe, one that led to the most controversial period of his long and decorated career.

Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC) and Diaz (26-10 MMA, 7-7 UFC) met two years ago at UFC 183. The fight was pivotal for both fighters. Silva had lost his title at UFC 162 after an upset knockout at the hands of Chris Weidman and then broken his leg in a rematch. Diaz hadn’t fought since a decision loss to now-former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre prompted him to walk away from the sport. The fight, in Silva’s middleweight division, was an expected and widely celebrated booking.

Over three rounds, Silva consistently outstruck Diaz and earned a unanimous decision for his first win in three years. But just one month after the fight, the fighters’ worlds were turned upside-down when Silva tested positive for a pair of steroids and Diaz tested positive for marijuana.

The pair took wildly divergent approaches to diluting the findings, with Silva professing innocence by claiming he’d taken an off-brand sexual enhancement substance on the recommendation of a training partner in Thailand.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the fight, didn’t buy the excuse and suspended him one year, adding a dig in accusing the former champ of “soft testimony.” Meanwhile, Silva’s colleagues and the public questioned whether his legacy had been permanently tainted.

Diaz, meanwhile, came in looking to fight his suspension, which marked his third such punishment for marijuana. The NSAC threw the proverbial book at him, suspending him an incredible five years and fining him $165,000. The severity of the punishment created a major backlash in the public, leading to a White House petition and support from celebrities. The NSAC later backtracked, shortening Diaz’s punishment to 18 months with a $100,00 fine.

This past August, Diaz’s suspension ended, opening the door to a return. But according to White, the former Strikeforce champ turned down multiple fight offers.

“The most difficult to get into the octagon? Right now, it’s the Diaz brothers – right here, right now,” White said.

Diaz’s younger brother, Nate Diaz (19-11 MMA,14-9 UFC), recently turned down a fight with Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) at UFC 213 before rejecting it when the UFC wouldn’t up his pay.

As the younger brother subsequently suggested, any Diaz return would have to be accompanied by a very healthy payday.

Would Silva provide that? We’ll find out soon enough.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie