You may have missed the news yesterday that top welterweight contenders Jake Ellenberger and Martin Kampmann will face off in the main event of the Ultimate Fighter Live Finale on June 1st.
That's understandable. There was a ton of news going around yesterday, from multiple fight announcements to a veritable Canadian treasure trove being unveiled during the middle of one of the most unintentionally funny UFC press conferences that I can remember.
Ellenberger vs. Kampmann is big news, though. Both of these men were once thought to be potential opponents for Carlos Condit, but Condit's decision to sit and wait for Georges St-Pierre's return and a potential title unification bout on November 17 in Montreal threw a wrench into those plans.
And so we have two of the best welterweight fighters in the world matched up against one another, with the ultimate prize being a likely shot at the winner of Condit vs. Ellenberger.
What about Nick Diaz, you say?
What about him? As of this very moment, Diaz is suspended from fighting. I know Diaz and his lawyer think they have a brilliant excuse for him failing a drug test, and perhaps they do. Perhaps Diaz will get his suspension reduced to six months, meaning he'll be back in June, and it'll be like he never left in the first place.
But the truth is that it doesn't really matter. I know this is hard for Diaz fans to understand, so I'll say it one more time: Nick lost the fight against Condit. That's a fact. You may think Condit fought like a girl (he didn't) or that Condit ran (he didn't), but the one thing you can't argue (you will) is that Condit beat Diaz according to the unified rules of mixed martial arts.
Ellenberger and Kampmann are clear contenders. They each won their last fight in definitive fashion. Diaz lost his last fight, and he did so by lackluster decision.
And then he failed a drug test because he couldn't stop smoking pot for the few weeks surrounding his fight.
Who should be the next contender after GSP vs. Condit?
The math adds up. Diaz may get his title shot at some point down the road, and potheads around the world will celebrate when he does. But he'll need to win another fight before they throw him into the title mix.
And in the meantime, two deserving fighters—Ellenberger and Kampmann—can get the shot they actually won in the cage, not by being anti-authority and throwing their fingers in the air.