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Video: Nick Diaz says he respects Anderson Silva, people take him the wrong way

While Nick Diaz might have missed the open workouts for UFC 183 and several other media obligations along with it, he sat down with the UFC for an exclusive interview, where he talked about fighting at middleweight, respecting his opponents, and what winning a UFC title would mean to him.

When Nick Diaz steps into the Octagon for UFC 183: Silva vs. Diaz on Saturday night, it will mark the first time the former Strikeforce welterweight champion will compete at middleweight, aside from two catchweight bouts in 2009, where he approached the 185 lbs. limit.

This is aggravated by the fact that his middleweight debut will not come against just anyone, but against the former pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, and arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, Anderson Silva. For Diaz though, fighting in a higher weight class shouldn't pose any problems, he says, and yet, he wants to return to welterweight eventually.

"I already fought in this division, as far as I'm concerned... I fought with a heavier weight. I feel better and fight with a lot more energy. I'm just... I think 170 lbs. is the more competitive division. [...] I probably won't stay at middleweight. I mean, if I'll be fighting I probably wanna go back to the 170 lbs. division."

Despite what Diaz says, the middleweight division is very competitive right now, with champion Chris Weidman and top contenders such as Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida, Ronaldo SouzaLuke Rockhold, or Silva, who has apparently earned Diaz' respect.

"He said I've had the good fights in the UFC. I feel the same way about him. This is why I'm giving him the mutual respect. People take me the wrong way. They think that I want to stage an act or they say I'm cocky or something. This is completeley different. I'm always respectful to anybody, even my opponents."

Should he pull off the upset on Saturday and beat Anderson Silva, Diaz could very well be in line for a future UFC title shot, should he decide to stay at middleweight. But winning the belt obviously isn't the biggest goal, that comes to Nick Diaz' mind.

"The belt doesn't mean anything to me. It means nothing. All it means ist hat I'm gonna make more money as prize fighter."

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