The lingering memory of UFC 183 won’t likely be of Anderson Silva slowly picking apart Nick Diaz for five rounds in his comeback fight, but of Diaz’s antics in the Octagon.
In the first round, Diaz came forward talking trash to the Silva and pantomiming for him to come engage. Silva, who has been known to use similar antics in his day (see UFC 162), coolly let Diaz go through his histrionics without joining in. At one point, Diaz stuck his rump out for Silva to behold. At another, he laid down in the cage as if to relax.
It played out as a strange piece of UFC theater, but at the same time, it took nothing away from the fight. If anything, it added some odd dimension to a fight was functioned on curiosity to begin with.
One person who got a kick out of the whole thing was Silva’s friend and manager, Ed Soares, who took the fight in cageside Saturday night in Las Vegas.
"Speaking to my business partner Jorge [Guimaraes], he said that was one of the greatest shoots he’d ever seen," Soares said during an appearance on the MMA Hour on Monday. "Nick Diaz going and laying down, Nick Diaz doing what he was doing, and not only doing that…but doing that to Anderson Silva?
"I mean, if you’re going to lay down in a mixed martial arts fight in the UFC, you’ve got to have balls. But to do that against Anderson Silva, dude, you’re an a**hole, man. That guy’s got balls."
Soares meant it more as a compliment derived from awe than anything else. Diaz, who at another time appeared to be picking his underwear from his butt, still stood in with Silva. He wasn’t in there to play games, ultimately. He was trying to win the fight, and that part wasn’t lost on Soares.
"He backed it up. He went out there and went toe-to-toe with him," he said. "I’ve got nothing but respect for Nick Diaz."