Do I want to see Nick Diaz walk out of the Octagon on Saturday night in Montreal with the UFC welterweight title thrown over his shoulder?
This is a question I have been struggling with for some time and at this point, I can’t honestly say I know what the answer to that question is.
For purely selfish reasons I know the answer with one hundred percent certainty. As an individual who more or less makes his living writing about mixed martial arts and those that participate in the sport, a Nick Diaz victory over Georges St-Pierre on Saturday would give me an endless amount of fodder. With that in mind, for purely selfish reasons I want to see Diaz defeat St-Pierre.
Honestly, try and wrap your head around that, Nick Diaz as UFC welterweight champion.
The mind reels at what it would mean to have Nick Diaz stand in the center of the Octagon in Montreal on Saturday night, middle fingers aloft in a salute to the crowd as the faithful St-Pierre fans rain down boos and expletives at the man that just bested their hometown hero.
From that point forward, you can rest assured that hundreds of thousands of words will spill forth from the keyboards of every individual that covers the sport of MMA on any level. Hell, it’s not inconceivable that one could make a living as a Nick Diaz / Stockton beat writer.
Another reason I want to see Diaz defeat St-Pierre is because I want to see how the UFC and more specifically UFC president Dana White deals with the situation. If White thinks he has headaches dealing with Anderson Silva and his idiosyncrasies, he ain’t seen nothing yet. Baggage doesn’t begin to describe what accompanies Nick Diaz now without UFC gold wrapped around his waist.
I propose that there needs to be an iso-cam on White as well as Diaz’s manager Cesar Gracie throughout the entire fight at UFC 158. I want every painful moment of the transition from Nick Diaz long shot to Nick Diaz UFC champion captured for posterity, I want to see the exact moment when each of these men come to the realization that the 209 has UFC gold.
I want to see the mental gymnastics that are going through the head of White as he tries to calculate the money he may gain or the money he may lose with Diaz as his champion.
On the other hand, one has to wonder if it will be good for the sport if Diaz wins? Dude is a wildcard and that’s putting it nicely. You can bet that there’s not one single Fox executive rooting for Diaz to have his hand raised on Saturday night.
Nick Diaz as UFC champ, good or bad for the sport?
Run down the list of current UFC champions and the biggest headaches are Anderson Silva’s will he or won’t he fight attitude (he will…eventually) and Jon Jones’ turning down a fight on short notice (well within his rights). Now run down the list of things that could possibly go wrong with Diaz, if you can even conceive of what those things are.
On the other hand, you know Diaz will sign up for his fights and never turn down a fight, as far as helping to promote that fight, as we’ve learned, that’s another story.
Another possible negative is the idea that Diaz gives ammunition to the detractors of the sport who still try and portray the practitioners of MMA as thugs and miscreants.
I know that there have been “Diaz-type” individuals in other sports in modern times, but they have come at a point in time where the sport has already established a strong foundation that could not be shaken by one fighter. I’m not sure MMA is at that point, especially since those that don’t like the sport are still throwing out and possibly buying into the human cockfighting scenario.
As a fan of the sport I don’t ever want to see Diaz leave the UFC. I love to watch him fight. As someone that covers the sport I never want to see Diaz leave the UFC because he makes the job easy. As a person that wants to see the sport grow and prosper, I’m torn. I would imagine many feel the same way.