In a lightweight throwdown that could produce the next top title threat to challenge champion Anthony Pettis, Diaz will make his return to the Octagon after a one-year absence to meet a red-hot Rafael dos Anjos this weekend at UFC on Fox 13.

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The 155-pound tilt will serve as the co-main event, setting this one up for three very tantalizing rounds.

On paper, Diaz does have the advantage. But with an evolved striking facet and a mean streak that Matt Brown would be proud of, RDA has made huge strides in the division since Diaz last competed in 2013, notably knocking out Benson Henderson in one round back in August.

So strap in, fight fans. Here is a full head-to-toe breakdown for one of the most interesting lightweight clashes of 2014.


Striking Precision
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Besides maybe Pettis and Edson Barboza, Diaz is the most precise striker in the division.

Fueled by a boxing pedigree that allows him to land efficient and calculated blows to an opponent, his chip-away approach is hard to knock.

Dos Anjos, on the other hand, does not incorporate the same sort of technicality, patience and overall success.

Sure, he can hit in bunches and knows how to inflict damage along the cage and in the clinch, but being precise does not mean throwing angry.

Instead, it can be attributed to crisp jabs, timely combinations and peppering body shots, which is what Diaz is all about.

Major Advantage: Diaz


Knockout Power
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Neither fighter is a knockout artist per se, so it"s difficult to crown a winner in this department.

Oddly enough, for the type of fighter he is, Diaz has only finished one fight via strikes in his entire UFC career, and it came against a very desperate and over-the-hill Gray Maynard.

But that doesn"t mean he can"t knock out any lightweight in the division, because he can.

For dos Anjos, who recently discovered his own power by finishing the likes of Henderson and Jason High, knocking people silly isn"t his forte either, so it"s really an interesting topic to discuss.

But with the likelihood of the Brazilian swinging for the fences more often than Diaz, and due to his recent ferocity opposite Smooth, he"ll probably bring a little more to the cage when the two meet this weekend.

Slight Advantage: dos Anjos


Wrestling
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Unless Diaz starts to dissect RDA on the feet, this fight probably isn"t going to go to the ground.

As two fighters who aren"t really known for their wrestling abilities, it"s unlikely that the majority of this fight will be contested on the mat.

But if it had to be, who would have the advantage?

Strictly based on takedown ability and defense, dos Anjos would.

With a better career UFC takedown rate and defensive percentage, he"d be the better bet to secure a shot or two than Diaz. Not to mention that RDA is the more athletic fighter, and Diaz usually leaves himself open for a takedown when he plods forward and tries to get in his opponent"s face.

Slight Advantage: dos Anjos


Grappling
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Dos Anjos is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, and for good reason.

The guy can straight ball on the ground.

But rarely do fighters possess the dexterity, technique and overall scrambling ability that Diaz does, and it remains undetermined as to whether RDA can hang with him on the mat.

Remember, Diaz once strung together three straight UFC victories by submission over BJJ black belts (Junior Assuncao, Alvin Robinson, Kurt Pellegrino).

Now while those names don"t jump off the computer screen, it"s still pretty impressive. Not to mention he defeated Jim Miller via guillotine choke, too.

Needless to say, Diaz is a beast on the ground, and it"s going to take a whole lot of effort for dos Anjos to mirror his output.

Advantage: Diaz


Intangibles
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Diaz can take a beating and dish it out.

He can outpoint opponents by standing in front of them, circling out or in the pocket. He can push the pace, make fighters wilt and force them to question themselves mentally, which usually works to his advantage.

Now while dos Anjos does incorporate one of the more complete offensive arsenals in the division, he just doesn"t have the same sort of X-factor that Diaz does. No matter where his fights go and who"s up on the scorecards, Diaz is always one move away from getting his hand raised.

There aren"t many fighters in the sport today who can stake that claim.

Major Advantage: Diaz


Verdict
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Gregory Payan/Associated Press

If this had been scheduled for a five-round main event showcase, then Diaz probably would have gotten a late finish.

Instead, he"ll work his way toward a split-decision victory, with dos Anjos coming out firing in the first round and probably landing a big shot or securing an early takedown.

After that, Diaz will hit cruise control.

Sure, it"s been over a year since he last stepped inside of the Octagon, and he"s facing a fighter coming in hot after a first-round shellacking of a former lightweight champ, but Diaz is still in the prime of his career and most certainly has something to prove.

That is a deadly combination for any top contender, even RDA.

But crazier things have happened (i.e. dos Anjos knocking Henderson out), so get ready for one heck of a co-main event.

See more: Why Does Bong Water Smell So Bad ?: Trees Why Does Bong Water Smell

Verdict: Diaz via Split Decision

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