There has been a lot of speculation that the winner of this fight could be the next person to challenge for the UFC Welterweight Championship, but nothing has been officially confirmed by the UFC.
Though the promotion has not taken a firm stance on who will receive the next title shot, it seems that it would make the most sense to give it to the winner of this fight.
It sounds crazy—I know.
After all, Penn is 0-2 against the current champion, Georges St-Pierre.
As for Diaz, this is his first fight in the UFC in over four years, and there are plenty of guys in the welterweight division who have done more than him to earn a crack at the belt.
So, why would the next title shot go to either of these two?
Diaz has a reputation as a loud mouthed, disrespectful fighter, which makes him, in essence, Georges St-Pierre's exact opposite.
Promoting that fight would be the easiest thing in the world; it's a classic good guy vs. bad guy matchup.
Furthermore, Diaz is known as a fighter who pushes the pace and makes his opponents work.
Fans would be all over the idea of a fighter who will force GSP to stay busy, as the champion has often been criticized for playing it safe.
Though Penn is 0-2 against St-Pierre, their last fight was shrouded in controversy due to accusations that the champion's back was greased, giving him an unfair advantage.
All the UFC needs to do in order to get fans interested in GSP vs. Penn 3 is dig up the old grease-gate scandal and have Penn play the angle that he didn't get his fair shot at the title.
Either fight is incredibly marketable, and marketable welterweight title fights are something of a rarity these days.
After Carlos Condit, who is already guaranteed a title shot, the division is pretty much void of legitimate challengers.
Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Anthony Johnson and Rick Story are all on the cusp of being contenders but need more solid wins before they will be well known enough for a title fight.
Then there's Jon Fitch, who deserves a shot more than anyone else, but he isn't marketable, and the UFC hates him.
As far as selling pay-per-views goes, which is typically the UFC's prime directive, the winner of BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz should get the next welterweight title shot—after Condit.
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