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Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz set for Super Bowl weekend

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

They are back.

Anderson Silva, arguably one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, will return to the Octagon against former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. UFC president Dana White announced the match-up Tuesday on ESPN's SportsCenter.

"The greatest of all-time Anderson Silva is back. His doctor gave him clearance to fight. The fight the fans have been waiting for, the fight the fans have been screaming for.. also back is Nick Diaz so we have made Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. It will be the main event and it will be five rounds," White said.

Silva vs. Diaz will reportedly be a middleweight bout at UFC 183 and headline a UFC pay-per-view card on Super Bowl weekend, but the promotion has yet to announce the venue.

Silva (33-6) who had the longest UFC winning streak snapped by a pair of losses to Chris Weidman in 2013, steps inside the Octagon for the first time since suffering a gruesome injury at UFC 168, breaking his left tibia and fibula.

"He's 100 percent healthy, he's kicking again and he feels great. He's chomping at the bit to get back into the Octagon," White said of Silva.

Diaz (26-9, 1 no-contest) also gets back in action after the longest layoff of his career. The MMA star announced his retirement after back-to-back losses to Carlos Condit and Georges St. Pierre, but recently signed a new deal with the promotion.

"Nick Diaz is a very popular fighter. If he comes in and beats Anderson Silva, he could fight for the title. He's right in there. It would be a huge, huge win for him," White said of Diaz.

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