By Michael Ford
At UFC Fight Night 84, Michael Bisping won his fight against former champion Anderson Silva, but lost the war in the eyes of many fans. His five-round 48-47 decision wasn't viewed as a robbery by most observers, but he came dangerously close to being knocked out at the end of the third round, clearly being saved by the bell. The takeaway for many fans wasn't that Bisping established himself as an elite fighter with the win, but that in defeat, Silva demonstrated just how far he has fallen. That is hardly the catapult for Bisping into the title fight that has eluded him thus far, but he's probably as close as he has ever been. And yet, the UFC has been noncommittal about granting him the title shot. Enter Nick Diaz.
Both men can boast having gone five rounds with the Spider, but Diaz's No Contest against Silva was marred with the controversy of two positive drug tests. However, Diaz had his suspension reduced, and he could return to the Octagon as early as the summer. And of course, Diaz can brag about not almost being finished by the past-his-prime former P4P king, which he did when he posted a meme on Twitter:
Luke Rockhold or Chris Weidman. Many believe that a prime Silva would have embarrassed him, as a Silva who lost a few steps was moments away from closing his show. Diaz is obviously one such person, and in making his opinion known, may have kicked off a war of words that could culminate in a big money fight. For Diaz, it's a chance to make an impact coming out of an 18-month suspension, and for Bisping, it's a chance to stay relevant and shut up some haters en route to scoring that elusive title opportunity. For the fans, however, it's a chance to see two of the sport's biggest trash talkers tear up press conferences before stepping into the cage and delivering a fight that lives up to the hype. Who could ask for more?