George St.Pierre is out of UFC 139 with a knee injury, and the UFC has promoted BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz to be the main event. This is still a very good fight, and it features two of the best fighters in the welterweight division.
Nick Diaz was the Strikeforce welterweight champion before the UFC acquired them earlier this year.
He's a very entertaining fighter with a seemingly never-ending gas tank. Nick competes regularly in triathlons when he's not fighting, and does decently well in them.
Diaz is very skilled on the ground, with a background in Brazilian jiu jitsu. He's dangerous on the ground in all positions, and has the ability to finish fights.
Nick Diaz is also a very skilled boxer, and is accurate with combinations. His footwork is solid, and he's able to slip and block punches with good consistency.
Strikeforce has been the UFC's main competitor, but they still don't have the level of talent that the UFC has. Diaz has been saying he wants a fight with GSP, but it would be a very large step-up in competition.
BJ Penn is going through a bit of a rough patch, and isn't the fighter he was a couple of years ago. He's still a high-level fighter, and will be a tough test for Diaz.
If Nick Diaz is able to beat Penn, he will be more ready for the ability that GSP has. Penn is still a top-notch boxer, and game plans well for big fights. He's elusive and hard to hit just like GSP. He will also be hard to takedown if Diaz should try to get the fight to the mat.
Diaz was originally booted from the GSP fight because of issues involving a press conference. If he wins against Penn, the UFC will have to give him the title fight.
GSP's long layaway will certainly affect him at least a little bit. This is obviously another benefit to Diaz.
I'm not saying that Diaz will be the guy to beat GSP, but the champ will lose eventually. It happens to all great champions. Most fighters don't know when they've lost it, and have a hard time getting out of the fight game.
GSP's injury is bad for fans, Carlos Condit, the UFC, but not Nick Diaz. Let's see if he can capitalize on the opportunity put in front of him.