UFC welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, has looked more like Superman than an MMA fighter in recent years. But could Strikeforce’s welterweight champion, Nick Diaz, be his kryptonite?
Other than a blip against Matt Serra in 2007, St-Pierre has completely dominated the UFC’s 170-pound division for the better part of the last decade. In fact, he hasn’t really been challenged by an opponent since that flash knockout by Serra at UFC 69.
However, with Strikeforce having been purchased by Zuffa, fans are now looking at a potential future bout between the two champions.
Diaz knocked out Paul Daley last night in a difficult bout that saw the Stockton, Calif. native recover after being knocked to the ground with punches on two occasions. He showed his heart, though, by staying calm and giving Daley the first knockout loss of his career.
Many fans and experts were surprised as Diaz looked to keep the fight on the feet. As a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie and Daley’s inexperience on the ground, Diaz may have been wise to try to take the fight to the ground.
But Nick Diaz was a man intent on proving to the world that he can stand with anyone in the world at 170 pounds.
Diaz used incredible combinations to pick apart Daley before pummeling him with undefended shots before referee “Big” John McCarthy stepped in.
If Georges St-Pierre defeats Diaz’s teammate, Jake Shields, at UFC 130 later this month, the UFC welterweight division will have been completely cleaned out. But Nick Diaz will remain as the lone contender outside the world’s biggest MMA promotion.
Though he went just 6-4 during his run in the UFC, Diaz’s skillset has developed tremendously over the past few years and he is now deserves real consideration as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Diaz’s standup game is worlds better than it was the last time Diaz fought in the Octagon, in 2006. The body-to-head combinations he threw last night can only be described as MMA-boxing perfection.
Georges St-Pierre’s standup is among the best in the division, but his chin will forever be a concern after he was knocked out by Matt Serra. If GSP would be content with keeping the fight standing, there is a very real chance that in a fight against Diaz, we may see a replay of what happened between Diaz and Daley last night.
But St-Pierre is an extremely smart fighter who has shown in the past that he has no problem taking his opponents to the ground. Against top-level strikers like B.J. Penn and Dan Hardy, GSP has used his world-class level wrestling to drag down and control his opponents while inflicting huge damage from the top.
Whether he’s looking to ground-and-pound, apply a submission, or simply control the pace of the fight and stay in control; GSP is like a wet blanket on his opponents.
But surprisingly, being on his back may not be the worst place for Nick Diaz.
Georges St-Pierre has tremendous top control, but Diaz could be the best submission expert that the Canadian has ever faced—and that includes B.J. Penn.
GSP is so smart and so technically sound that he would certainly have an excellent game plan to take on the Strikeforce Welterweight Champion, but as they say, sometimes styles make fights... And Nick Diaz is the most dangerous opponent in the world remaining for Georges St-Pierre at 170 pounds.
If Georges St-Pierre is Superman, Nick Diaz may just be kryptonite.
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