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Nick Diaz signs contract extension; Anderson Silva eyeing Super Bowl weekend showdown

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Esther Lin

The Stockton Bad Boy is back. Is a bout with Anderson Silva far behind?

Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz has signed a contract extension with the UFC and will return from his self-imposed exile. UFC.com reported the news on Thursday.

Additionally, a source close to Silva told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on Thursday that Silva's top choice to fight upon returning to the UFC would be Diaz, ideally on Super Bowl weekend 2015.

The 30-year old Diaz has lost his past two fights, dropping an interim title fight to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 and a decision to then-champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158. Both losses were via unanimous decision.

Diaz got a massive paycheck for the blockbuster GSP fight, which was one of 2013's biggest sellers, and decided he'd rather wait on his next big-money opportunity, so he announced his retirement. UFC president Dana White, as required to fulfill terms of Diaz's contract, offered Diaz several fights over the past year, including with Condit and Hector Lombard, but was turned down each time.

But now seems to be the time and place. UFC.com reported that Diaz signed a three-fight extension with an eye on returning early next year.

The article went on to quote Diaz as saying he'd like to fight Silva.

"I'd be interested in fighting [Anderson Silva] and anything that's going to do well," Diaz said. "As far as Anderson Silva, I think that would be a great fight for people to see because he has my type of style."

Silva is on the mend for his horrific leg injury suffered at UFC 168 against Chris Weidman. He's also on track for an early-2015 return. Silva's camp has also expressed an interest a fight with Diaz.

At a media luncheon in downtown Los Angeles last month, Silva's manager, Ed Soares, explained why.

"It would be one of the biggest fights you can possibly put together," Soares said. "Everything's there. No matter who Anderson fights in his first fight back, it's going to be big. But now you add Nick, who the fans love and who has also been away for awhile, and you think about how their styles match up, and we're talking potentially one of the biggest fights in all of MMA."

No word yet on whether Nick Diaz's new contract will mean anything for his younger brother, Nate, who has been sitting out, unhappy with his contract terms.