Cesar Gracie sees a finish coming this January when Nick Diaz returns to the Octagon to face Anderson Silva.
The scheduled five-round middleweight main event for UFC 183 will also see Silva fight for the first time since a gruesome broken leg suffered this past December against Chris Weidman.
“I believe it’s going to be a stand-up fight the entire time,” said Gracie, in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Nick is better on the ground, his jiu-jitsu is better, but I believe it’s going to be a stand-up fight and it won’t last five rounds.
“I think it will be over before five rounds; someone will get knocked out.”
Gracie, who works with Diaz in California, isn’t betting on his fighter getting dropped. Silva has lost two straight to Weidman, suffering his first defeats inside the Octagon.
“Nick is hard to knock out, he was knocked out only once in the beginning of his career,” Gracie said. “Anderson is bigger than Nick, but he’s turning 40 now and his chin is not the same anymore.
“If Nick can get in there and punch him, I think he wins this fight. Nick will turn 31 in August, he’s just a kid. Anderson is fast and dangerous. I don’t know who’s going to win, but I know it’s going to be a good fight.”
Diaz hasn’t fought since 2009 above welterweight when he defeated both Frank Shamrock and Scott Smith at 180 pounds. He retired after a loss to Georges St-Pierre for the UFC title, and will be stepping back into the Octagon for the first time in over two years when he meets Silva.
“He was training, but he really retired,” Gracie said. “He wanted more money and everything, and he didn’t train like he used to. He was more relaxed, doing things he liked.”
The last time a fight involving Diaz was stopped early on his behalf came in 2007 due to a cut vs. K.J. Noons. His only true knockout loss came via TKO in 2002 in his fifth career fight to Jeremy Jackson.
Jackson retired in 2007 and holds two wins in three fights over Diaz. He submitted him at UFC 44 and lost to him in their first meeting in 2002.