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UFC 183 results: Anderson Silva is back, but we still don't know if he's 'back'

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ladies and gentlemen, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva is BACK!

Well, kinda.

"The Spider" did something in the UFC 183 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which took place last night (Sat., Jan. 31, 2015) inside MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, that he hasn't done in over two years.

He won a fight (watch it here).

With his five-round unanimous decision win over welterweight import Nick Diaz, Silva cleared his final hurdle. Not only physically, following a shattered shin in late 2013, but mentally, too. The Brazilian was knocked out by Chris Weidman to lose his title at UFC 162, then suffered a horrific injury in their UFC 168 rematch.

Considering the toll his long and painful rehab took, it's amazing he even came back at all, let alone win a 25-minute mixed martial arts (MMA) fight.

Watching him collapse and break down after all was said and done was to be expected.

The biggest thing we can take away from his win, which played out like five rounds of hard sparring, is that yes, his surgically-repaired leg will hold up in battle. But can "The Spider" still hang with the best of the best at 185 pounds?

The jury is still out.

After all, as talented as he is, Diaz is still a welterweight who was competing above his weight class. In addition, Silva wasn't really tested during their "Sin City" showdown. That's not to say the Stockton slugger didn't have his fair share of success, but he spent more time clowning around and less time trying to secure a finish.

As a result, Silva was afforded ample time to find his rhythm, pick his shots, and scurry out of danger when Diaz took it to the next level.

Essentially, this played out like a tune-up fight.

There's really nothing wrong with that in the grand scheme of things, outside of it main eventing a $60 PPV, but it doesn't tell us much about where "The Spider" sits in the 185-pound web. Looking at the top of the middleweight food chain (see it here) is a grim reminder about how far this division has come in the last few years.

And let's face it, Silva is to blame for spoiling us.

We hold him to a higher standard because prior to UFC 183, the Brazilian had a staggering 14 finishes in 16 UFC wins and is widely considered the greatest of all time. As Silva approaches 40 years old, it's not outrageous to wonder if the twilight of his career will produce his best work to date, or a handful of feature fights designed to carry him into the sunset.

Based on what we saw last night, it's still too early to tell.

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