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Anderson Silva, Nick Diaz to fight on Jan. 31

Anderson SilvaAnderson Silva and Nick Diaz will be making their returns to the octagon early next year in a highly-anticipated fight against each other, UFC boss Dana White announced.

White says Silva has received medical clearance to fight and is “100 percent healthy.”

The fight will take place Jan. 31 in Las Vegas and will be the main event. The event has not yet been named but could be UFC 183.

White shared a photo on Instagram of him with Silva confirming news of the fight:

“Lunch with the GOAT @spiderandersonsilva and just got the Diaz fight done!!!! #ufc #superfight” he wrote as the caption.

He says both fighters are excited for the fight.

Neither fighter has fought since 2013. Silva is coming off consecutive losses to Chris Weidman and recovering from a broken leg suffered in his last fight. He’ll be returning to the octagon after a 13-month layoff.

Diaz is also coming off consecutive losses. He lost to Carlos Condit in Feb. 2012 and GSP in March 2013. Often hard to deal with, Diaz was staying away from the UFC for what was believed to be disputes over how much he should be paid.

News of this fight should not come as a surprise; last month there were comments indicating both parties want the fight to happen.

Though the fight has two of the more exciting names in the sport, it’s not an ideal matchup. Diaz is well undersized compared to Silva, though he is one of the better fighters around.

Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz want to fight

Nick DiazNeither Nick Diaz nor Anderson Silva have fought for quite some time — for different reasons — but they might want to face each other when they do return.

Silva is recovering from a broken leg suffered in his second consecutive loss to Chris Weidman and is likely to return in early 2015. Diaz has stepped away from MMA and is demanding a hefty payday from Dana White to return to the UFC (or at least that’s what we think — it’s so hard to tell with him).

Diaz has expressed interest in fighting only the best competition, and he specifically has said in the past that he wants to fight Silva. Silva apparently wants to fight him as well.

FOX Sports’ Damon Martin says Silva’s manager Ed Soares indicated they are interested in a fight against Diaz. Diaz told “UFC Tonight” that he is also interested in the fight.

Would White put up with Diaz’s antics and flakiness to make this happen? I think he would absolutely. Though Diaz is in a lower weight class than Silva, he holds great name value and would certainly make fans eager to watch. This would be an easy fight to sell. I also like that both would essentially be on equal ground if they fight each other considering they’ve had long layoffs from competition.

Cesar Gracie: Nick Diaz pays his taxes, may have had mole in his camp

Nick DiazCesar Gracie dismissed the notion that Nick Diaz has never paid taxes, and also implied that his fighter may have had a mole in his camp leading up to UFC 158.

Gracie, who trains and manages Diaz, made his comments during an interview with Ariel Helwani Monday on “The MMA Hour.” Diaz stole headlines despite losing to Georges St-Pierre Saturday by claiming that he was probably going to jail because he never paid his taxes. Gracie told Helwani that is not true, and that Diaz probably misspoke Saturday.

“I just have to invest a little more money (in training),” Diaz said after the fight. “Now that I have a little bit more money. I’ve never paid taxes in my life and I’ll probably go to jail.”

Diaz made his comments in a casual manner. Gracie says Diaz often contradicts himself and frequently thinks aloud, which results in wild comments like that. He told Helwani that Diaz probably meant to say he needs to file his taxes for the year.

“He has paid taxes. I think he misspoke; it’s about filing,” Gracie told Helwani. “I talked to Nick a couple years ago about tax issues he was having. As far as paying taxes, he would pay the tax and probably more than he needed to the last two years. He’s paid hundreds of thousands in taxes. He’s not in a James Toney situation or Wesley Snipes. I think his issue is he needs to properly file, so he needs to get together with a good accountant. But he has paid a lot of money in taxes.”

Gracie said he’s not aware of Diaz being in any legal trouble because of his taxes.

Gracie also said in the interview that he felt like GSP was one step ahead of Diaz the entire fight. Gracie found that odd and seemed to believe there may have been a mole in his camp.

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Nick Diaz’s camp complains about GSP’s hand wraps before fight

GSP Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz has spent the entire week leading up to his fight with Georges St-Pierre trying to get inside the champion’s head, and the trend seemed to continue in the hour before their fight at UFC 158 in Montreal Saturday.

UFC middleweight/welterweight Jake Shields, who trains with Diaz under Cesar Gracie, complained before the fight that GSP’s wraps looked “shady.”

Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole later reported that Shields went to talk to UFC president Dana White at ringside. According to what White told Iole, a UFC official went to check GSP’s wraps along with someone from the commission. Diaz’s camp apparently didn’t like the way GSP’s hands were wrapped, though the commission didn’t seem to see an issue.

I don’t know what the implications are for the complaint, but Diaz may have a built-in excuse if he loses. Now we can add hand wraps and steroids to the list of complaints Diaz has against GSP.

Nick Diaz accuses GSP of being on ‘plenty of steroids’

Nick Diaz is getting reckless with his accusations against Georges St-Pierre.

The two will meet Saturday at UFC 158 in Montreal, and now there is something fresh on everyone’s minds — accusations from Diaz (pictured) that his opponent is using “plenty of steroids.”

Diaz hinted during the pre-UFC 158 press conference Thursday that GSP is on steroids. That caused an angry St-Pierre to respond.

“I’m not on steroids, man,” said St-Pierre. “I never cheated once in my life.”

“We’ll see if they test who for steroids or what,” Diaz responded.

“I hope they do. I hope they do,” GSP shot back.

“You hope they do? What, for me to test positive for steroids?” asked Diaz. “Ain’t gonna happen.”

Later in the day, Diaz did a radio interview with “Tim and Sid” on 590 The Fan in Toronto and continued his accusations.

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GSP goes off on Nick Diaz, calls him an ‘uneducated fool’

GSP Nick Diaz

There’s a reason Dana White gets so frustrated when Nick Diaz skips his media responsibilities before a fight. On Thursday, we saw exactly why.

Diaz baited Georges St-Pierre several times throughout Thursday’s UFC 158 media conference call, prompting angry responses from the champion while successfully promoting their Mar. 16 fight in Montreal. Diaz commented multiple times about GSP’s alleged privileged lifestyle, leading to several heated exchanges between the two. GSP denied Diaz’s accusations and fired back at his opponent, calling him an “uneducated fool.”

Diaz’s rant seemed to be inspired by GSP’s revelation that he has never tweeted and that he actually has staffers who handle that for him. That seemed to set off Diaz, who dropped several curse words throughout his incoherent rambling.

You can listen to the exchange below. Beware that the language is NSFW:

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Dana White: Nick Diaz not responding to my calls, texts

There are two things we know about Nick Diaz: he is a great fighter, and he is very elusive. OK, three things. So it comes as no surprise to hear UFC president Dana White say that Diaz has been unresponsive to his communication efforts recently.

“Nick Diaz doesn’t return my calls, my texts … nothing,” an amused White told the media recnetly. “You don’t have to call me, you don’t have to text me, but you do have to show up to the press conference.”

White’s remark about showing up to the press conferences was a reference to Diaz missing flights to do promotional press conferences prior to his UFC 137 fight against Georges St-Pierre. Diaz was pulled from the main event and eventually fought BJ Penn.

Though Diaz is hard to reach, White isn’t worried when it comes to the big picture.

“Nick Diaz shows up for fights,” said White. “And Nick Diaz shows up and fights his ass off when the fight is there. He’s not a big fan of the pre-fight promotion, but you have to do it.”

Diaz is scheduled to finally get his shot at GSP over a year after the two were initially supposed to fight. As for Diaz’s behavior, when someone ignores their boss, there’s only one way to describe it: that’s a boss move.

Video of White’s comments are below (with some NSFW language):

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