Georges St-Pierre casts a long shadow in the world of mixed martial arts. Leading up to last weekend's UFC 143, most of the media attention focused not on the main event, but on a hypothetical bout between St-Pierre and Nick Diaz, who most seem to see as the perfect foil for the polished champion.
To the dismay of many, Diaz lost a pseudo-controversial decision to the less heralded, but undoubtedly talented Carlos Condit. Plans for what could have been one of the biggest fights in UFC history were dashed as quickly as you can say "interim UFC welterweight champion."
Yet, even though I felt Condit completely deserved the win over Diaz, I still personally would much prefer to see St-Pierre matched up against Diaz regardless, and I think I'm not alone.
There's one clear solution: Strip St-Pierre of his UFC belt.
It seems counter-intuitive to strip the man who might just be the most accomplished and most celebrated fighter in history, but when you think about it it actually makes a lot of sense, and the situation is not entirely without precedent.
Frank Mir was once stripped of his UFC title after 14 months of inactivity. St-Pierre likely won't be ready to fight until November, which will be 18 months removed from his previous bout.
More than that, though, stripping St-Pierre makes sense for everybody else involved.
Condit shouldn't have to rematch Diaz after what should have been considered a close, but straightforward decision. He should be promoted to undisputed champion and allowed to defend his belt in St-Pierre's absence.
Welterweight contenders like Jake Ellenberger and Johny Hendricks shouldn't be forced to wait for rematches and unification bouts either. The division should be allowed to move forward, and if Ellenberger beats Diego Sanchez on Feb. 15, he should get a shot at Condit. If he loses, give the shot to Hendricks, who deserves a shot just as much after knocking off the perennial No. 2 welterweight Jon Fitch.
Nick Diaz seemed pretty disgusted and disheartened by the decision against Condit and quit inside the cage as a result. That said, I'm sure he'd reverse that retirement pretty quick if he were offered a fight against St-Pierre.
And then there's St-Pierre himself.
While St-Pierre might have some hesitation about being stripped of his title, he appears to desperately want to fight Diaz, and the hype behind the fight is hardly diminished considering that many fans seem to feel like Diaz actually won (I'm not one of them).
Let him have his wish.
Strip the UFC title of Georges St-Pierre.