Appearing on ESPN's SportsCenter, UFC president Dana White officially announced the anticipated bout between former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. SportsCenter anchor Max Bretos leaked the news on Twitter shortly before White appeared on camera:
After taping the segment, White confirmed the news on Twitter:
A bout between Silva and Diaz has long been rumored, dating back to 2012 when Silva's manager, Ed Soares, was holding out on a middleweight title fight with Chris Weidman. The whispers surrounding the fight have grown increasingly loud in the two years since, and with both fighters set to return from long layoffs following sound defeats, now is the perfect time for the fight.
Silva last fought at UFC 168 in December against Weidman. Weidman took the middleweight title from Silva, widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, at UFC 162 with a shocking knockout. An immediate rematch was booked for UFC 168, where Silva would lose again, famously breaking his shin over Weidman's knee while throwing a leg kick. How he fares after such a catastrophic injury at age 39 will undoubtedly be one of the biggest stories surrounding this fight.
Diaz last fought at UFC 158 in March 2013, as he squared off against then-welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, losing via cut-and-dry unanimous decision. From there, Diaz more or less retired from MMA, but the California native has remained in the news through rumored fights with the likes of Carlos Condit and Hector Lombard.
This also marks the first announcement regarding a UFC event on Jan. 31, 2015. The UFC has an event planned for Jan. 3, 2015 in UFC 182. Given the scope of the fight, this likely serves as the unofficial announcement of UFC 183.
Details are still breaking on this fight, so make sure to stick with Bleacher Report for more details as they become available.