Silva punched and kicked in concert, countered effectively and provided glimpses of the man who once ruled the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as he took a unanimous decision from Nick Diaz in the UFC 183 headliner on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. All three judges scored it for Silva (34-6, 17-2 UFC): 49-46, 50-45 and 50-45.
Diaz (26-10, 7-7 UFC) offered up his customary theatrics but struggled to deal with the Brazilian’s speed and precision; and the volume punching for which he has always been known was nowhere to be found. After a competitive first two rounds, Silva took over. Leg and body kicks, a crisp jab and dizzying striking combinations became more and more prevalent. Silva also mixed in some spectacular techniques: He attempted the slashing, vertical elbow he once utilized in felling Tony Fryklund and fired an angled flying knee over Diaz’s shoulder. Mostly, though, he circled and countered.
Silva authored a strong closing act, as he opened a gash underneath Diaz’s left eye with a close-quarters elbow in the fifth round, giving the judges and the audience one last strike by which to remember his performance. His 17 career victories inside the Octagon rank third on the all-time list, trailing only Georges St. Pierre (19) and Matt Hughes (18).
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