I called it, you called it, that guy definitely didn’t call it and his buddy is still clamoring for a super-fight between Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.
Well, UFC president Dana White—I must sound like a broken vinyl copy of your favorite 80’s hair band by now; love him or hate him, the bald boss man has struck a fan friendly medium when mixing business with MMA enthusiasts’ pleasures time and time again—has announced Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz for UFC 137.
This is the true super-fight many hardcore fans wanted to see after Diaz defended his Strikeforce welterweight strap against British slugger Paul Daley in a wildly epic struggle back in April.
Of course obstacles like contractual obligations could care less how bad we wanted to see the fight; Nick Diaz had certain professional baggage with Showtime that was interfering with any immediate plans to cross-promote between both Zuffa promotions, UFC and Strikeforce.
Furthermore, in recent interviews, “DW” had hinted at more than just his ruffled relationship with Showtime as a major thorn in the side of pitting fighters from both organizations together in the near future.
So as wild as the passionate fan’s imagination got after news broke that UFC bought Strikeforce, the honeymoon had waned and reality was setting in on how the co-existing landscape would look like for the next couple of years.
Matches like Cain Velasquez vs. Alistair Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko vs. anybody in the octagon, Gilbert Melendez vs. Frankie Edgar and GSP vs. Nick Diaz were becoming more of an unattainable pipedream for all of us fight nerds in the world.
At least, so everyone assumed. But now, just like that, Dana White has blessed us once again like the Santa Claus of MMA he is and has heeded the voices of the people, who have helped get him where he is today. I’m not trying to swing from Dana’s sack like an orangutan fanboy, but when he’s done good by the fans, I’ll be the first to trickle down praise.
Now that GSP is officially defending his title against Nick Diaz, champion vs. champion, it begs the questions, the analysis and stylistic input that is dying to be inked onto paper.
Let’s embrace the instant gratification and impatient ticks that modern society has prison-tattooed in our psyche for a moment to take a quick peek at how the two champs fair against each other.
At this point in GSP’s reign as the UFC’s 170-pound kingpin, people were starting to voice their concern for the lack of competitive challenges in the division, that the champ had very few tests left in his own weight division.
As a result, what makes this a sought after fight for fans is the fact that many believe Diaz is the last legitimate contender and threat to the French-Canadian superstar’s crown, regardless if the challenger was competing in a different promotion.
To be honest, no matter how great GSP’s challengers have been in the sport individually, collectively they were dismantled with relative ease come fight night—a playing factor in why the champ has become comfortable playing it safe…because he can.
Come on, nobody really thought GSP’s last three opponents, Dan Hardy through Jake Shields, were really his most dangerous. He’d love to tell you so, in order to stay modest, but nobody familiar with the sport was betting their child’s college fund on any of those challengers.
Nick Diaz is an extremely different type of fighter than Hardy, Koscheck, Shields or even St-Pierre, which makes him a real threat. Going into this championship fight, we can finally rest assured that GSP will be thoroughly challenged, if anything, which hasn’t happened in a long while. Some of us actually believe Diaz has a better chance of dethroning the champ than any previous contender.
If there is one characteristic that can sum up both Nick Diaz the person and Nick Diaz the fighter, it’s his insurmountable will to push forward and impose his dominant array of fighting spirit, toughness and technique.
He lives and breathes what he stands for as an athlete and competitor in mixed martial arts—an intoxicating attribute nurtured at Cesar Gracie’s camp in Stockton and executed by his teammate in the “Scrap Pack.”
Comparing the champs, Diaz’ approach to fighting is the polar opposite of GSP’s. Simply put, he has embraced the “fighting” aspect of MMA over the athleticism. Diaz’ ambivalence to the “game” or pure stubbornness has allowed him the mental dexterity to apply his technique to his brash aggression in matches.
When the bell rings in the octagon, Diaz will not be fazed by standing across from the mystical St-Pierre. He will not hold back in hopes of out pointing the champ either. Diaz is the type of fighter that lives and dies by his style, which has paid off more times than not.
In my humble opinion, Diaz embodies exactly what a fan should want in a true fighter and MMA champion.
It’s too early for me to predict Diaz for the win, but at least we will finally get to see St-Pierre pushed against the wall. We’ll get to witness a champion—who takes risks while still defending his title successfully in the most memorable ways—take it the UFC’s pound-for-pound welterweight.
Finally, a true test has come along for both champions.