UFC 137 Results: Cesar Gracie Talks Nick Diaz vs Georges St-Pierre
Following UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz, Cesar Gracie has plenty to talk about given the announcement of Nick Diaz's title shot against Georges St-Pierre set for Super Bowl weekend.
Gracie begins by discussing how confident he was in Diaz for his bout with Penn and how that confidence is unwavering even facing the No. 1 welterweight in the world, GSP.
"I'm confident. I was confident about this fight and I'm confident about that fight. It's five rounds with Nick Diaz. That's a long time to have that guy in the cage with you. You know what I mean? Three rounds is long enough. Five rounds is very long. GSP is a great athlete. He's a great black belt, but Nick Diaz is an animal, so I think that's going to be the biggest fight in the history of the UFC."
Biggest fight in UFC history? Probably not. Still, there is all the hype in the world to make this a huge event and with Diaz's performance against Penn; he appears to be a much more credible challenger.
When asked about GSP's ability to utilize his wrestling to out-point his opponents, Gracie says that it won't happen.
"He's in that spot right now though that he can't play that kind of game for the reason that people don't want to see that game anymore. What you guys saw tonight is two warriors fighting—Hawaiian warrior and then Stockton guy.
"The people now understand that and they want to see that. Georges trying to play that game, A, it's going to backfire on him, and B, it's very hard to do that with Nick. He doesn't stay down. He moves constantly and then you're in his world of jiu-jitsu and I believe Nick has the better jiu-jitsu of the two. There's no question."
While Diaz looked fantastic at UFC 137, a fresh BJ Penn was able to take him down with ease, nearly taking his back. He didn't look very dangerous against a quality grappler like Penn and it's going to be very difficult to fight well from his back against a strong wrestler like GSP.
Whether or not Gracie actually believes "that people don't want to see that game anymore," wrestling has always been a huge hole in Diaz's game. Diaz certainly appears to have the striking to stand with St-Pierre, but his wrestling has always been the bigger concern.
Gracie then goes on to imply that perhaps St-Pierre's injury didn't necessitate pulling out of his fight with Carlos Condit.
"He ran past me earlier. I mean, he literally ran past me. Look, he's a great guy. He's a black belt under Renzo Gracie. I don't know the guy that well personally, but I'm going to tell you guys something right now.
"Nick Diaz missed a press conference and he's here and fought. The guy that went to the press conference didn't fight. That's all I have to say about it."
Gracie continues to knock GSP for his decision by saying that Nick Diaz also went into his fight injured.
"Nick was injured and he still fought. Nick hurt his hamstring, he's got a knee injury. These fighters train so hard that they're going to get the injuries and everything, but despite his injuries, that guy was here for the fans and he's a warrior just like BJ. I think people appreciate that."
It's admirable if Diaz, as Gracie says, went into this fight injured, but that's completely up to the discretion of the fighter. It's no one's place to say that St-Pierre should fight injured. After all, he is the UFC Welterweight Champion and has more to lose in his fights than anyone else has.
Despite all the talk and speculation, Diaz did make his bout with St-Pierre an incredibly intriguing match-up by dispatching of BJ Penn in such impressive fashion. Particularly if Diaz can avoid the takedowns of GSP or even stay active off his back, he could very well be the biggest challenge of St-Pierre's career.
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