After back-to-back losses in 2013, Anderson Silva made his return at UFC 183 on Saturday (Jan. 31) with a unanimous decision over Nick Diaz.
The fight started with drama, including trash talking and a referee warning for taunting, but after five rounds, Silva walked away victorious in an entertaining non-title bout. All three judges scored the fight for the 39-year-old, former middleweight champ: 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46.
It was Silva’s first appearance in the octagon since he suffered a gnarly broken left leg At UFC 168 in December 2013. After the win, he was overcome by emotion.
“This is a very important moment for me and for my whole family,” Silva said. “I’ve been through a lot of stuff in the past year, everything I went through. In the beginning, I didn’t think I would be able to come back.
“I love my job. I love fighting, but I need to talk to my family,” he said, referencing his future after the fight. “My son talks to me, serious, when I talk to my son, my son cry, ‘Dad, stop, please. You don’t need to fight. Please.’ So, I have to talk to my family.”
Diaz suffered his third straight lost Saturday night, coming off the longest layoff of his career. He last fought in March 2013, when he lost by decision to Georges St-Pierre.
Despite losing by wide margins on the scorecards, Diaz said he felt he won after the fight over Silva. “I don’t know how he wins on damage or what,” Diaz said. “I thought I won every round. I came forward. These judges don’t like my attitude out here. If we’re just going to stand around, I can stand there all day, too.”
Silva improved to 34-6, while Diaz’s record now sits at 26-10.