With all the controversy surrounding the end of UFC 182 with Jon "Bones" Jones-ing-for-a-couple-of-rails testing positive for illegal substances (who cares), some people seem to have forgotten that there is an event coming up in less than two weeks. UFC 183 has no title fights but it will still either be the most exciting or second most exciting event this year. Instead, their is an important fight, as two long time UFC stars will face off. One is coming off one of the most graphic injuries ever seen in the octagon, while the other is coming out of retirement.
That's right, Anderson "The Spider" Silva is back and he's taking on Nick Diaz. Plenty of people are predicting a miserable blood bath for Diaz but there is plenty at stake in that fight. If Diaz can compete (or just not get mangled too badly), will he continue to fight? Keep in mind, he has fought at Lightweight and Welterweight, but this will be his first fight at 185, in the Middleweight division.
Other fights in this event include some good competitors that will make it an interesting one. Two Lightweights who started out with the UFC on The Ultimate Fighter, Joe Lauzon and Al Iaquinta will face off in a scrap that could turn ugly quickly. Miesha Tate and Sara McMann will throw down as the #2 and #3 UFC women's Bantamweights, and Tyron Woodley enters the octagon against undefeated Kelvin Gastelum, who is 11-0 in MMA with five straight wins in the UFC, including a big victory over Uriah Hall in TUF 17. The two main card fights not yet mentioned are Middleweights Thales Leites and Tim Boetsch and Welterweights Thiago Alves against Jordan Mein.
In anticipation of what should be a great event, here are ten things to keep an eye out for and consider with regard to several of the fights taking place at UFC 183. It is still over a week until the fight and it is MMA, so some fights could change, but these are fights taking place as of January 20th, 2015.
10 Diego Brandao vs Jimy Hettes: Strikes Against a Ground Game
Both of these 27 year old Featherweights have been in the promotion since 2011, and both hold winning records in the UFC, but neither are considered big stars in the division. Brandao is coming off two losses to the UFC's current fifth and sixth ranked Featherweights, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, while Hettes is 3-2 in the UFC, and lost his last fight via TKO in the third round against Dennis Bermudez.
9 Joe Lauzon vs Al Iaquinta: Will They Put on the Fight of the Night?
8 Jordan Mein: 25 Years Old Fighting His 39th Professional Fight
A relative newcomer to the UFC, Jordan Mein, from Alberta (Canada's closest wannabe equivalent to Texas, no offense intended to Albertans or Texans) is just 25 and already a highly seasoned and well-rounded scrapper. Primarily a striker, Mein has been active in kickboxing for almost fifteen years, utilizing great size and 73 inches worth of reach at 170 lbs. His father is a fight promoter in his hometown of Lethbridge, and Mein has been fighting professionally since age 16.
7 Thales Leites vs Tim Boetsch: Can Leites Finish Boetsch and Make it Eight?
Thales Leites and Tim Boetsch are both in their 30's, and both are currently in their second stints in the UFC. Boetsch was unsuccessful in his first few UFC fights in 2008 and 2009, leaving and fighting three fights in other promotions before returning in 2010. Between 2010 and July 2012, he went 5-1 but has since lost three of five. He is still ranked 13th in the Middleweight rankings, but one or two more losses could see him drop out of the top 15.
6 How Close is Ian McCall to a Title Shot?
Uncle Creepy returns to the octagon at the end of the month, riding two unanimous decision wins in 2013 and 2014. He is the ranked third among Flyweights in the UFC, with a record of 2-2-1 in UFC. John Lineker is ranked 6th in the division with a 5-2 record. He has notably missed weight three times since starting to fight in the UFC.
5 Thiago Alves: Can He Rejuvenate His Career?
Starting his time with the UFC back in late 2005, Thiago Alves was one of the most dominant Welterweights for a number of years. Some of his victories have come over the likes of Chris Lytle, Matt Hughes, and Josh Koscheck. Between 2005 and 2008, he fought 11 times in the UFC, with a record of 9-2. In 2009, he earned a title shot against Georges St. Pierre, which he lost and since that year, he has gone 3-4, beating John Howard, Papy Abedi and Seth Baczynsk. Two of those fighters are basically UFC cannon fodder and Baczynski, who is 5-5 in the UFC.
4 Miesha Tate vs Sara McMann: Who Will Win on the Ground?
Looking to the women's Bantamweight division, Miesha Tate and Sara McMann are two of the sharpest, facing off in a battle that will probably end up on the ground. Both fighters are listed in the UFC's top five Bantamweight ladies, both have lost to Ronda Rousey, Tate via the all-too familiar armbar and McMann via that gnarly knee to the ribs.
3 Can Nick Diaz Hold His Own At Middleweight?
Nick Diaz has fought at Welterweight for most of his career, with a brief three fight adventure into the Lightweight division. Upping his weight class puts him into a whole new ball game. Admittedly, Diaz has achieved great success in his career. With wins over fighters such as B.J. Penn and Robbie Lawler (along with over 20 more), he has had a great career. At 31, there is hope that he has some fight left in him.
2 How Will Tyron Woodley Handle Kelvin Gastelum's System
Kelvin Gastelum is one of the most intriguing new(ish) talents in the UFC. He won TUF 17 and recently dropped down a weight class, starting his career at Middleweight and making the move to Welterweight in late 2013. He is a practitioner of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, an American variant on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It isn't fundamentally different enough from regular BJJ to call it a completely different system by any means, but there are enough tweaks and innovations to throw some fighters for a loop.
1 Will Anderson Silva Be His Old Self?
The Spider hasn't fought in the ring in over a year. His last fight saw his gruesome broken leg after Chris Weidman checked a leg kick. The injury kept him out of competition since December 2013 and he missed several months of serious training. While he has had well over half a year with his leg fully healed, there are some considerations. Silva may be a warrior, but he's 39 years old, and two losses, culminating in a broken leg can shake anyone's confidence.
This is not to say that he won't have his power back, but losing that amount of time can take a toll on anyone. Obviously this is speculation, but it's easy to see how the time off could have long term impacts for the greatest ever. While his stamina, skill, speed, and power may be the same, he will always remember that kick that snapped his leg. It is entirely possible that it will be in the back of his mind every time he goes for a kick.
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