Following UFC 137, there is a lot of interest regarding the upcoming welterweight title fight between Nick Diaz and Georges St-Pierre. Before defeating BJ Penn, many felt that Diaz hadn't fought the proper caliber of competition to warrant a title shot.
Now, it's clear that he deserves one. His ability to bloody up and wobble a man with an infamously great chin displayed his excellent boxing. Diaz was able to utilize his reach, as well as his speed and stamina advantage, to win Rounds 2 and 3 decisively.
While Georges St-Pierre is clearly an incredible athlete, he's never had to fight at the pace that Nick Diaz is able to set for five rounds. Although GSP has dealt with fighters with more punching power, he hasn't dealt with a man with such crisp boxing technique.
The clear advantage for St-Pierre is his wrestling ability. As Diaz's critics have been quick to point out, he hasn't faced a strong wrestler in over five years—since his last stint in the UFC. Nick Diaz certainly has an excellent ground game, but St-Pierre has been submitted just once in his entire career—over seven years ago in his first career loss to Matt Hughes.
What Diaz will likely need to do is keep this fight standing, push the pace, and constantly keep moving forward. If he ends up on his back, he's certainly capable of holding his own, but St-Pierre has a history of being able to control and damage his opponents from the top. He'll probably be better off just trying to get back to his feet instead of working for submissions.
Diaz likely has the better gas tank and the better chin, but both are excellent strikers. However, St-Pierre is capable of testing the waters on the feet and bringing the fight to the ground whenever he feels the need to. Diaz did show some decent takedown defense in the latter rounds of his bout with BJ Penn, but he was taken down with ease in the first.
St-Pierre will easily be the biggest challenge of Diaz's career, but all his trash talk coupled with his 11-fight win streak make for an extremely interesting title fight. Diaz will be a heavy underdog, but he's proved his critics wrong more than once.
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