Felipe Dana/Associated Press

I love Nick Diaz

In the spirit of full disclosure I think it's important to tell you that up front. It's a manly platonic love. Purely unprofessional? Sure. And deeply held.

Everything about Diaz resonates with me. His intransigence and "me against the world" outlook, his willingness to endure tremendous punishment in order to make his point to an opponent and his obnoxious petulance in the face of any and all obstacles—I feel that, man. 

There's tragic glory waiting to reveal itself every time Diaz fights. Even his moment of greatest triumph was eventually ruined by his own fondness for marijuana. Diaz can't get out of his own way.

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

LAS VEGAS—The fun part about a Nick Diaz fight isn't really the fight itself.

Not that there's anything wrong with the fights. Diaz is exciting, what with his constant motion and punches and trash-talking.

But it's the other stuff, the stuff that goes along with Diaz, that makes him such an attraction. That's why media members completely encircled Diaz's empty podium 20 minutes before the brash Stockton native was set to show up for Thursday's media day.

Anderson Silva, the greatest fighter in the history of the sport? Five media members awaited his arrival, which came 23 minutes after he was scheduled to arrive.

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Funny thing about these mixed weight "superfights."

They always sound great in theory.

Maybe when you're just spitballing ideas over a couple cold ones at the local watering hole, weight classes seem negotiable. Perhaps when you're trying to dream up a bestselling pay-per-view event on the whiteboard at Zuffa LLC world headquarters, the rules feel like they were made to be bent.

A couple days out from actually watching welterweight Nick Diaz fight middleweight legend Anderson Silva at UFC 183, however, nobody could blame you if you're having second thoughts. Will this get ugly? Is this really something we all want to watch? Both reasonable questions.


Conventional wisdom says Nick Diaz probably can’t beat Anderson Silva on Saturday at UFC 183.

At least, not the Diaz we’ve all come to know and love during his 11-plus years in the spotlight.

Oddsmakers see a mismatch in the offing here, with our partners at Odds Shark posting Diaz as nearly a 4-to-1 underdog. Even those numbers feel a bit conservative, and despite a last-minute promotional push, many spectators, including MMA writer Josh Gross, are preparing for a one-sided drubbing:

Setting aside the obvious—that Diaz is a welterweight, winless since 2011, jumping up in weight to challenge the greatest MMA fighter of all time—this bout represents a stylistic nightmare for him. The entire time we’ve known him, he’s been all about forward pressure, unbridled aggression and a high-volume striking attack.

Dan Steinberg/Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — If you ask Miesha Tate the question—the one question everybody wants to ask—she'll give you an honest answer.

"Do you want to fight Ronda Rousey again?"

Of course she does. The answer is yes and will always be yes, because Tate and Rousey are linked, bound together for as long as they both shall fight.

It was Rousey who used Tate to springboard her way to stardom by first verbally assaulting her and then physically repeating the process by submitting her to win the Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Championship.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today

Bleacher Report lead mixed martial arts writers Jonathan Snowden and Jeremy Botter have banded together—much like a modern-day version of Wham!—to take on the most important questions facing the MMA world. Welcome to The Question

In his last two fights, the once-great Anderson Silva was knocked unconscious and had his leg snapped into pieces. It seemed like an ignominious end to an amazing career. 

But rather than go gently into that good night, the 39-year-old Silva decided to carry on. He main events UFC 183 this weekend, taking on former welterweight challenger Nick Diaz.

Does Silva still have what it takes to compete with the world's best? Let's discuss.

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The Mauler has known better days.

Alexander Gustafsson finds himself at loose ends after Saturday’s first-round TKO loss to Anthony Johnson at UFC on Fox 14. Once thought to be among the biggest threats to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, he now faces a long road to rebuilding his standing in the fight company’s marquee division.

It’s been a precipitous drop for a guy who appeared on the verge of winning the gold for 20-odd minutes at UFC 165, back in September 2013. But at 28 years old, he’s obviously far from done.

Here are the most likely places matchmakers will look to find Gustafsson his next fight.

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It took Anthony Johnson all of two minutes, 15 seconds on Saturday to change the trajectory of the UFC light heavyweight division.

Johnson’s unexpected first-round TKO victory over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fox 14 effectively took a sledgehammer to the 205-pound status quo. It scuttled best-laid plans and sent the fight company’s marquee weight class streaking off in an exciting new direction.

Scariest part is, the former welterweight and one-time UFC washout might just be getting started.

Provided champion Jon Jones can free himself from his current drug-related scandal, Johnson should get the chance to alter everything we think we know about this sport when the two meet in a suddenly hotly anticipated title bout later this year. Jones commented on the bout via Twitter:

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Twenty-four hours ago, my colleague Jonathan Snowden and I put together the latest edition of our new series, The Question.

In it, we tried to answer two questions:

1: Did the UFC miss the boat by not forcing an immediate rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson after their classic bout in September 2013?

2: Did Anthony Johnson have a chance to delay that rematch even further by beating Gustafsson in the UFC on Fox 14 main event?


This Saturday, the UFC heads to a massive indoor arena in Sweden for UFC on Fox 14. The main event features the ultra-smooth Alexander Gustafsson taking on Anthony Johnson, who used to be a welterweight but is now one of the most terrifying men in mixed martial arts.

To the layman, this might feel like a setup for Gustafsson. Win the fight, get a rematch with Jon Jones.

They faced off back in September 2013, and Gustafsson took Jones to the limit in the best fight of the year before losing a unanimous decision. It was close enough that many observers actually gave Gustafsson the fight. MMA fans, not known for embracing shades of gray, immediately proclaimed it a robbery of the highest order and demanded a rematch.

But the immediate rematch never happened. Jones allegedly turned down a second fight with the Swede. Gustafsson had to face Jimi Manuwa before earning his rematch, but he then got injured and saw Daniel Cormier step in to take his place. And now Gustafsson must win another fight—this time in front of his fellow countrymen—before punching his ticket back to Jones.