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 Joe Schilling: Anderson Silva should expect 'different Nick Diaz' at UFC 183

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PostSubject: Joe Schilling: Anderson Silva should expect 'different Nick Diaz' at UFC 183   Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:07 pm

Nick Diaz has apparently put in all the work to make sure he has the best chance possible of defeating Anderson Silva at UFC 183.

Although it’s his first fight in nearly two years, Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) didn’t want to cut any corners when preparing for one of the sport’s all-time greats in Silva (33-6 MMA, 16-2 UFC). That’s why he structured the best camp possible, training partner and Bellator MMA fighter Joe Schilling told MMAjunkie.

“This training camp went really well,” Schilling said. “I was sparring with him and bringing in sparring partners to help him work on his kickboxing. He was sparring with three of the best kickboxers in the world: the No. 1 and No. 2 middleweight kickboxers in GLORY (Artem Levin and myself), and we also brought in Chidi Njokuani, who is a really, really good muay Thai fighter and is also good in MMA.”

Diaz has wanted the Silva fight for the better portion of a decade. However, it never seemed like a plausible matchup, as “The Spider” ruled the UFC’s middleweight division while Diaz was a champion in Strikeforce before he eventually moved to the UFC’s welterweight division.

But when Silva lost his belt to Chris Weidman in 2013 and subsequently dropped the rematch, it opened the door for a whole list of matchups that were previously not logical choices for the Brazilian.

Diaz is one of those matchups, and the Stockton, Calif., native wanted the fight so bad he even came out of retirement to make it happen.

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Silva may be considered one of the greatest strikers in MMA history, but Schilling said there’s nothing the former UFC champ can do that Diaz hasn’t already seen in the gym from Levin, Njokuani or himself. He said Diaz is being underestimated, though, and assures he’ll be more than prepared for anything Silva throws his way.

“I haven’t seen Anderson Silva, with the exception of Vitor Belfort, fight anybody who is a better striker or even at his level of striking,” Schilling said. “I’m personally not that impressed with Anderson Silva. Don’t get me wrong; he’s a fantastic MMA fighter. I’m just looking at it from a striking perspective given my background. Looking at Silva, I don’t see an elite level striker.”

Schilling knows he’ll likely receive heat for calling Silva’s striking ability into question, especially when the Brazilian holds a share of the record for most knockout victories in UFC history. He’d first like to explain his statement, though.

“In comparison to myself or Artem Levin or Chidi Njokuani, watch the way that we move and throw kicks and how we do what we do. There’s just a much higher level than Silva,” Schilling said. “When I see these videos of Silva hitting pads and training, I see a guy who moves like an older man, a guy who doesn’t have that much fluidity in what he does.

“He’s a big, strong guy who is extremely confident. He has fantastic timing and I think the fight is going to come down a lot to timing. He’s not a guy that throws a lot of combinations. He’s a guy that moves around and puts to sleep then catches you.”

Schilling is, of course, firmly in the corner of Diaz going into Saturday’s UFC 183 headliner. Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena hosts the anticipated middleweight bout, which tops of the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Diaz has not graced the octagon since he lost a lopsided unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158 in March 2013. Although that’s by far the longest layoff of his career, Schilling insists Diaz didn’t spend the entire time sitting on the couch eating potato chips.

The 31-year-old has been in the gym working on his skills and trying to evolve as a martial artist, Schilling said. That’s a lot of time to flourish his talents, and while Schilling wants to keep the specifics of the practice room in the dark, he’s confident no stone has gone unturned and a better version Diaz will show up than anything seen in his previous 36 professional contests.

“It’s a different Nick Diaz now,” Schilling said. “He’s definitely a little bit bigger, he hits a lot harder than I remember him hitting me back then. Anderson can win this fight if he catches Nick with something he doesn’t see. But in this training camp he’s been with the three best kickboxers available, and I don’t think he’s going to be surprised by anything.”

Unfortunately for Schilling, he won’t have the opportunity to watch Diaz vs. Silva in person. He has his own duties to fulfill, as he meets Robert Thomas in the GLORY 19 co-main event on Feb. 6. Schilling’s own career is the top priority, and he knows he can’t turn away focus from a hungry youngster like Thomas.

http://mmajunkie.com/2015/01/joe-schilling-anderson-silva-should-expect-different-nick-diaz-at-ufc-183

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PostSubject: Re: Joe Schilling: Anderson Silva should expect 'different Nick Diaz' at UFC 183   Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:28 pm

I was watching the countdown show and Diaz was doing 9 full, consecutive rounds against 3 different guys, seemingly without slowing down his pace at all; 3 against Shields, then 3 against some 6'8" guy, and finally 3 against Schilling.
That's nuts!!
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