Anderson Silva will return to action on January 31st versus Nick Diaz, and it looks as though the former middleweight champ could lock up a title shot, provided he defeats the Stockton star at UFC 183.

Since Silva is coming off consecutive loss to reigning champ, Chris Weidman, many people believed that the legendary fighter might have to win at least a couple of fights, before getting booked for another title shot. Well, although Dana White didn’t outline the exact circumstances in which Silva could receive one, the UFC President did say the following in a recent interview with FOX Sports (quote via MMA

“Every one of these fights leads to a bigger fight,” said White, while discussing the promotion’s upcoming schedule which is jammed with high profile bouts. “Anderson Silva is fighting Nick Diaz, then [middleweight champion] Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfortwill fight. Anderson Silva could fight the winner of that fight.”

Interesting no? Now sure, White didn’t guarantee Silva will advance to a title fight if he beats Diaz, but this revelation will certainly buzz the MMA community. Many Silva fans have argued that his losses to Weidman didn’t provide a real sense of closure, since the first defeat came after he was clowning around, and the second was the result of a horrific leg break.

On the flip side, Weidman boosters point to the fact that the champ was winning both fights before they concluded any ways, and many observers believe the well rounded fighter has Silva’s number regardless. Then of course, there’s also a chance Belfort will take out Weidman, and then, the UFC could easily make the case for a Belfort-Silva rematch (if you’re new to the sport, the latter KO’d “The Phenom” in spectacular fashion back in 2011).

Silva’s title shot prospects aside, White also discussed what’s on the line for Conor McGregor and Cub Swanson in their next bouts. Not surprisingly, White confirmed that “we could be talking about a big fight with Jose Aldo”, if McGregor defeats Dennis Siver on January 18th.

Then White was asked about the title shot chances for Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar, who will throw down this Saturday at UFC Fight Night 57. Here is what White had to say:

“Cub Swanson has been screaming for respect and for us to show him the love,” said White. “He’s taking on Frankie Edgar, who is a beast. Longtime champion at 155 pounds, moved down the 145 pounds to take on Cub. And yes, if Cub Swanson wins this fight we did tell him we would give him a title shot.”

So, clearly both McGregor and Swanson could lock up bouts with the featherweight champ Aldo, if they score wins in their next outings. But who would be first? And would the other guy be willing to wait around for a shot? Which clearly would be a ways off?

Likely it will all depend on what goes down November 22nd and then January 18th. Whoever can record the biggest, most impressive win, will likely fight Aldo next. One would think that Swanson has a tougher hill to climb in this respect, however, as he is taking on a ridiculously talented, former lightweight champ.