Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz might become a reality in early 2015, according to Silva's manager, Ed Soares.
Soares appeared on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, talking with host Ariel Helwani about his client's current motivations and desires as he continues to work his way back to the Octagon.
Silva famously shattered his leg against Chris Weidman at UFC 168, and the former middleweight champion has been out of action, rehabbing his injury and slowly resuming training since that time.
In discussing this future, Soares said that Silva is intent on returning to the cage early next calendar year, and he's considering a handful of opponents, one of which is none other than Mr. Nick Diaz.
Soares said (transcription courtesy of MMA Fighting's Shaun Al-Shatti):
He's definitely coming back...There's always a chance (he comes back in 2014), but as of right now I think his mind is set on fighting at the beginning of next year...There's Michael Bisping, there's Cung Le, even Nick Diaz...You could argue that Nick Diaz and Anderson probably have some of the best boxing in MMA, so we'll see what happens.
That sounds fantastic, doesn't it?
The thought of Silva and Diaz both breaking lengthy hiatuses to face each other is juicier than a $40 ribeye, and fight fans would undoubtedly shell out their full attention (and paychecks) to watch this scrap go down inside the UFC Octagon.
But let's ease up for a second.
Soares never said that this fight is even close to becoming a reality, just that Silva and his camp are open to it. Diaz is a tough customer for the UFC, and right now, he appears uninterested in returning unless the payoff is high.
If he would fight Silva, Diaz could probably net that $500,000 he wants, and all parties would benefit. As two supremely confident and skilled stand-up artists, Silva and Diaz could put on a striking clinic like few the sport has ever seen.
But just as the thought starts to excite me, I'm reminded at just how stubborn Diaz has been of late, and I'm not totally convinced that a showdown with "The Spider" would provide the money and opportunity he wants to get back to the cage.
Right now, it's a fun fight to consider, but I'd temper expectations until Diaz responds.
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report as news of Silva's next opponent continues to surface.