I'll be the first to admit that I didn't really see Nick Diaz as an honest to goodness title contender. Before you go crazy, let me explain.
In most cases, we determine a title contender by who they beat, their fight resume. That's all we can go on to reasonably say if a fighter is of the caliber to take on a UFC champion. Well, Diaz's fighting resume isn't really something that jumps off the page at you.
Sure, there's no denying that a win streak in MMA is always very impressive. In MMA, even the best of fighters can be knocked out on their best day (see Matt Serra's knockout victory over Georges St. PIerre at UFC 69). A win streak of any kind is always to be respected. However, let's look at the other side of it.
The UFC is home of the best fighters in the world, and if we're being real, a win streak in the UFC is respected 10 times more than a win streak that includes a fight in Dream and Elite XC. When Jake Sheilds came over to the organization he had a ridiculous win streak and then proceeded to get smashed by GSP and Jake Ellenberger.
We all know that the UFC is the pinnacle of the sport, so any success outside of it is like being the MVP of the Canadian Football League. It's cute, but it's not going to get you the noteriety a fighter craves.
I've said all of that to say this: Nick Diaz's win over UFC legend and future hall of famer BJ Penn answered a lot of questions. It says that he is ready for the best competition in the world, and it also says that his streak isn't a fluke.
Sure he beat an old, unconditioned BJ Penn, but you can only fight the person that comes into the cage. None of that is Diaz's concern or his fault. Let's see how he does against an angry Georges St. Pierre.
He's sure to get the fight of his life.