UFC: Why Nick Diaz Should Not Fight Josh Koscheck on His Return

James MacDonald@@JimMacDonaldMMAFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2012

Courtesy of Cage Potato
Courtesy of Cage Potato

As fans, we all have fights that we want desperately to see. Whether or not those fights actually make sense is another matter entirely.

I recall becoming excited several months ago when Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz became, for the briefest of moments, a distinct possibility.

Of course, Joe Silva would need to have his milkshake spiked before he would actually make that fight. Indeed, Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen seems like the next logical step for the light heavyweight division in comparison to the non-sequiturish Diaz-Silva superbout.

Search as I might, I could find no way to justify booking that particular contest. Still, the notion itself was so compelling that I was willing to suspend common sense and embrace the insanity—or inanity, as the case may be.

Fortunately, Dana White was quick to quash the fans’ collective whimsy, scoffing at the very idea of Nick Diaz ending his 12-month layoff against the greatest fighter the sport has ever seen.

But Cesar Gracie once again teased us when he recently lobbied for Nick Diaz to make his comeback against resident badboy Josh Koscheck—another potentially riveting encounter.

However, as Luke Thomas pointed out last week, pitting Diaz against Koscheck would be an indefensible business decision by the UFC.

Consider for a moment where the former Strikeforce 170-pound champion resides in the welterweight rankings. He is, at the very least, in the top five—perhaps higher, depending on whom you ask.

In contrast, Josh Koscheck is 2-2 in his last four bouts, with a snowball’s chance in hell of getting another shot at the crown so long as GSP remains on the throne.

Diaz may be coming off of a loss, but it would be a mistake to match him up against a fighter who, at this point in his career, appears to exist in the sport purely as a spoiler in search of a paycheck.

Perhaps more importantly, Koscheck is a stylistic nightmare for Stockton’s favourite son. Besides GSP, is there another fighter at welterweight who is better equipped to shut down Diaz’s game?

In the past, Diaz has struggled even against middling wrestlers, such as Diego Sanchez. Though, doubtless, he has improved beyond recognition since then, are we really so desperate to assess the lethality of Diaz’s guard by tossing him in the cage with a national champion wrestler?

It seems like an obscene risk for the UFC brass to take, given that it could conceivably put a sizeable dent in the marketability of one of their rising stars, while merely elevating a fading former contender.

Therefore, you have to question the wisdom of Cesar Gracie’s decision to call out Koscheck for his charge’s return to the cage. There is scant upside and considerable downside, both for Diaz and the UFC.

We might excuse the non-canonical card booking the UFC has been reduced to in light of their recent injury woes, but consciously myopic matchmaking is much less forgivable.

One hopes that Joe Silva’s milkshake remains untainted and he continues to make fights that are strictly relevant to the MMA landscape.