UFC 183 Predictions: Can Nick Diaz Spoil Anderson Silva’s Big Return?

Greetings, fight fans! It is time for another edition of the smartest, funniest and most accurate mixed martial arts prognostications in the entire world, the Uproxx Sports Staff Predictions (Only like two of us are actually staff, though). This week, the gang tackles UFC 183, which airs on Saturday, January 31, live from Las Vegas, Nevada, starting at 6:30 PM ET! Time to see those picks.

Important Standings of Note:

Jessica: 318-188-3 (63%)
Burnsy: 310-195-4 (61%)
Vince: 165-96-1 (63%)
Danny: 161-77-1 (67%)
Spilled: 76-56-2 (57%)
Sydnie: 16-12 (57%)
Chris: 30-10 (75%)
NY Ric: 36-26-1 (57%)
Ghost: 6-7 (46%)
Seth: 32-15 (68%)
Biss: 32-25-1 (56%)

Middleweight – Thiago “Marreta” Santos vs Andy “Lionheart” Enz

Jessica: Marreta means sledgehammer, which is a pretty good Peter Gabriel song. Andy Enz in no way, shape or form resembles young Chris Jericho, so he loses points there. I’ll take Santos to score a first round knockout.

Burnsy: Can I take a second to say that I think this is a poopy event to pay money for, especially now that the UFC is raising its PPV prices? Thanks for letting me talk about that. As for this fight, Enz has lost his first two in the UFC. Santos is 1-2. So by my Law of One of These Guys has Won a UFC Fight, I take Santos.

Vince: Real talk, I don’t know who the hell either of these dudes are.

Middleweight – Richardson “Rick Monstro” Moreira vs Ildemar “Marajao” Alcantara

Jessica: Ricky Monsters is a pretty great nickname, but I think Alcantara is the better fighter. I’m taking Marajo to TKO Moreira in the second round.

Burnsy: Alcantara has more experience. If this is the extent of my expertise for this entire card, we’re all in trouble.

Vince: Oh great, two vowely Brazilians who’ve spent their careers fighting other vowely Brazilians, this should be an easy pick. Alcantara is the crafty veteran, but I’ll take Ricky Monster Truck because he scares me more when he fights.

Featherweight – Diego “DB” Brandao vs Jimy “The Kid” Hettes

Jessica: I know it was a while ago and it was only against Nam Phan, but I still cherish the memory of Hettes ragdolling Nam for 15 minutes. I’m going to pick Hettes to submit Brandao in the third round.

Burnsy: Brandao’s last two fights were losses that came at the hands of The Notorious and Dustin Poirier. Hettes has some potential, but his role in this fight is a rebound guy. Like, “Hey Diego, thanks for getting your ass KO’d in the first in your last two fights, here’s a token of our appreciation.

Vince: Hettes seems to win by submission a lot and Brandao has only been submitted once, in 2007. I hate picking a dude as inconsistent as Brandao, but his wins have impressed me more. Brandao via book of Mormon.

Middleweight – Rafael “Sapo” Natal vs Tom “Kong” Watson

Jessica: A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt going up against a British dude? This should end hilariously with Natal submitting Watson in the third.

Burnsy: Two guys coming off “win this or you might be fired” fights, and both scored those W’s. I don’t know, I’m just flipping a coin and taking Natal.

Vince: Definitely a coin-flip fight between two guys who are solid but can’t seem to string together a run. Natal should have the submission advantage, but Watson hasn’t been submitted in a fight since 2007. I’ll take the Brit. Besides, “Kong” is just a cool nickname.

Flyweight – Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs John “Hands of Stone” Lineker

Jessica: Other than Diaz vs Silva, this fight is the one with the highest chance of not happening. McCall should try to use his mustache-enhanced wrestling since getting hit by Lineker is a Bad Idea, but Ian’s life is filled with Bad Ideas. Lineker will sprawl and brawl his way to putting Uncle Creepy to sleep in the first round.

Burnsy: Uncle Creepy calling out Team Alpha Male this week won my heart. He’s on a streak and three in a row will make him a bad bad boy to mess with.

Vince: Hey, Lineker, could you just fight at goddamned bantam weight already? All these guys killing yourselves to make the smallest weight class, have you learned nothing from Anthony Johnson? I’m sick of Lineker missing weight, which probably isn’t a great reason to pick against him, but I also love Uncle Creepy, so. Heart pick > brain pick.

Middleweight – Ed “Short Fuse” Herman vs Derek Brunson

Jessica: I thought this fight had already happened, so I looked it up, and it was scheduled for last year but got scrapped due to Brunson getting sick. Whatever, I’m taking Herman to submit Brunson in the first.

Burnsy: I like Brunson. I hope he wins.

Vince: D-Brunz looked all kinds of solid against Lorenz Larkin, and he seems like a bad match up for Herman. Herman uses a lot of clinch work, and I don’t know that that’s going to be effective against as good a wrestler as Brunson. And striking-wise, I have to think Larkin is a step above Herman. Herman is crafty and I wouldn’t be surprised if he mixes it up well enough to win, but Brunson is my pick.

Bantamweight – Miesha “Cupcake” Tate vs Sara McMann

Jessica: On her official UFC profile, Tate’s summary is listed as “submission wrestling”, and guess what, she’s only kinda good at that. I have no idea what her gameplan will be against an Olympic medalist in wrestling, but I expect it to fail tremendously. McMann is going to wrestle Cupcake to crumbs and get a decision win.

Burnsy: It’s going to be Tate. She’ll get to fight Rousey again for some reason, and the hype will be that she lasted more than two rounds with the champ. It’ll be dumb, but we’ll get to watch Rousey dominate again.

Vince: Miesha coming out to “Roar” singing all the words is the cutest damn thing. She’s also pretty tough, but “tough” isn’t a gameplan. And the McMann I saw against Rousey before she took that knee looked terrifying. I don’t know what was up with her last fight, but I’m hoping that other McMann, the Olympic wrestler throwing a hurricane of punches shows up. McMann.

Welterweight – Jordan “Young Gun” Mein vs Thiago “Pitbull” Alves

Jessica: My thoughts on this fight can be summed up at this location. These dudes will be throwing heaters at each other, and I see Mein’s reach helping him to land more on Alves. Mein wins with a second round knockout.

Burnsy: I’m still upset about Mein’s loss to Matt Brown two years ago, but he’s one of my guys. Like, if I had a ton of money and needed to hire a team of badasses to surround me and beat people up if I didn’t like them, he’d be there. He’s rad.

Vince: I’m with Burnsy, I’m high on Jordan Mein. Thiago Alves is one of those guys who’s violent and terrifying (Jesus Christ, those leg kicks) but surely one of the worst game-planners in the business. I can’t pick him against a guy as all-around solid and seemingly pretty fight smart as Mein.

Middleweight – Thales Leites vs Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch

Jessica: This fight seems way out of place on the main card. I don’t understand how the flyweight fight isn’t here instead. Anyway, Boetsch, who will one day evolve into Ben Rothwell, is going to use his rad judo skills to toss Thales around and knock him out in the second.

Burnsy: Leites is on a four-win hot streak, so I’m not going to picture that stopping against BOETSCH, whose name I pronounce like I’m dry heaving.

Vince: How the hell do you pick a Tim Boetsch fight? Dude has to be the most inconsistent fighter in the universe. I’m not going to worry about it here because Thales Leites has looked unstoppable lately. He always had elite-level jitz and now he’s knocking people out. Leites.

Lightweight – “Creepy” Joe Lauzon vs “Raging” Al Iaquinta

Jessica: This should be another really rad fight. I’m normally all about Strong Island MMA, but Joe Lauzon is currently undefeated as a dad, and he’s going to keep that streak going. Lauzon will get the fight to the ground and submit Iaquinta (Which is just Italian for La Quinta) in the second.

Burnsy: Iaquinta isn’t as experienced as Lauzon, but he’s been really good in his short time in the UFC. He fought four times last year, and went 3-1. Let’s keep that going.

Vince: Part of me wants to pick the dead-eyed, fellow light-skinned Eye-talian, Iaquinta, who just dismantled an always-solid Ross Pearson in November. And I honestly think his coaches, Matt Serra and Ray Longo should have a reality show. Or maybe a travel show, where they go around the world eating pasta and yelling at each other. Aside from just being entertaining, they’re also really good coaches. That being said, I love nerdy dudes that throw down so much! (BRING BACK TAMDAN MCRORY!) Lauzon also just beat the crap out of Chiesa, and has one of the most dangerous submission games around – something Iaquinta has been susceptible to in the past. Lauzon.

Welterweight – Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley vs Kelvin Gastelum

Jessica: Gotta go with my main man, Gastrointestinal on this one. Kelvin will withstand Woodley’s power and snag a third round submission.

Burnsy: Look, I really like Woodley. He’s a badass coming into his own, with Rory MacDonald serving as more of a lesson than a loss. But Gastelum is main-event-ready. Sure, he’s only 10-0 and could be in for the fluke of all flukes and a total choke-job, but my gut says he’s real.

Vince: Hmm, did Woodley learn something from that Rory McDonald fight, or is he still a great athlete and heavy hitter with a poor fight IQ? He’s a solid fighter and I think each scenario is reasonably plausible. As for Gastelum, it’s tempting to pick against him on account of him not making weight, but it sounds like he had to hit the IV before he even got down too far. Is that going to be an advantage or a disadvantage? These are all too tough for me to answer, and as ruggedly handsome as I am, I’m not a doctor. The X-factor here could be chin. Gastelum has a really good one. Add to that Woodley’s tendency to lose to smothery wrestlers, and I have to take Gastelum.

Middleweight – Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs Nick Diaz

Jessica: I’m still having trouble believing that this fight is happening. There’s still weigh-ins and a million other things that can go wrong, but I’m confident that it will happen. Anyway, as for my prediction, Nick Diaz tends to plod forward, with limited footwork and head movement, hoping to trap his opponents against the cage and then just unload with a million little teeny baby punches. Anderson Silva is excellent at destroying dudes with terrible movement that attack in straight lines and he voluntarily put himself on the fence against Stephan Bonnar before killing him. I expect a glorious slaughter on behalf of Silva. Anderson is going to stop Diaz in the second round.

Burnsy: I like that Silva is playing this smart and saying that he thinks he’s 2 or 3 fights away from a title shot. I hate that Dana White will completely ignore that and push him right back into the octagon with Weidman if he wins. But will he beat Diaz? I feel like ten years from now, Diaz is going to release a book that explains how he settled for a career of running his mouth and jobbing to stars for the sake of the company. If he wins this fight, what happens? HE gets Weidman? What a joke that would be. There’s no way Diaz wins this or any fight that matters. But wait for GSP to announce that he wants to come back, and Diaz will suddenly come out of retirement again and demand that rematch. I hate this nonsense. Just win it quick, Spider.

Vince: I love Nick Diaz because I’m not scared, homie. This sport is so much less interesting without him. I also think he’s a lot more than a mouth and can compete with anyone. That said, he couldn’t beat Carlos Condit (who’s also a top 10 fighter) and I have to think Anderson Silva will be a better version of Condit on the feet. That said, who the hell knows what kind of shape Silva will be in. I’ve only ever seen him lose by flukey punch while he was clowning around, and flukey leg break. Other than that, he’s a goddamn Jedi who seems to see punches coming at him in slow motion and can destroy your internal organs with laser-pinpointed five-finger death blows that he seems to be throwing while half asleep. How can I bet against a guy like that? BUT, he’s pushing 40 and just came off a catastrophic injury. How big a factor is that? I’m picking Anderson, but this is a clear example of “ya never know.”

Performance of the Night

Jessica: Lineker, Lauzon

Burnsy: Gastelum, McCall

Vince: Lauzon, Silva

Fight of the Night

Jessica: Lauzon vs Iaquinta

Burnsy: McCall vs Lineker

Vince: Diaz vs. Silva