By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has taken out yet another challenger in the 170 lb. division, taking the five round decision over Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Toronto last weekend.
The win, St. Pierre’s sixth straight title defense, left a lot to be desired, with St. Pierre suffering a poke to the eye early in the fight and failing to be too effective from then on out. Shields played a part in the fight being a less-than-exciting spectacle, attempting to kick box with the Champion and failing to bring the fight to his strength on the ground.
Now, talk of a super fight between GSP and Anderson Silva has slowed, and the new bout on everyone’s tongue is Georges St. Pierre against Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz.
For his part, Diaz wants the fight. According to Luke Thomas at SBNation.com, Diaz stated at the post-event press conference “I want to fight Georges St. Pierre.” It was a comment made in the gallery as the question was being posed to UFC President Dana White about GSP and Silva, but nonetheless after discussing a move to boxing, this is one fight that would keep him in the sport.
And he’s not the only one that wants to see it. UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta asked fans on Twitter whether they’d rather see GSP-Silva or GSP-Diaz, and he says the response he got was fairly one sided. “Overwhelming response for GSP/DIAZ interesting,” he wrote. “In NYC now working in what you all know.”
58% of our readers that have responded to a poll put up Sunday afternoon regarding these two possible fights have chimed in as well, wanting to see St. Pierre take on the brash and exciting Strikeforce Champ.
The hurdles revolve around whether or not the UFC can bring Diaz into the fold with the relationship with Showtime after acquiring Strikeforce, and whether they can prevent Diaz from leaving for a fight in boxing first.
White spoke about the fight after Saturday’s event, and though he acknowledged the hurdles present, that may not stop the fight from taking place.
“I imagine I could do whatever I wanted to do if I really wanted to, but we have a contract with Showtime and [Diaz is] a Showtime fighter,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “I don’t know, we’re going to have to see how this whole thing works out. That’s an interesting fight… I can do what I want to do.”
White plans on heading to Stockton, Calif., this week to talk to Diaz about the boxing fight he’s allowed to take under contract as well as what Diaz’s future plans will entail. When they meet, this fight will likely be among the topics discussed as well, and if fight fans get what they want, it’s a fight we might see sometime this year.
Penick’s Analysis: With the way the fight went down on Saturday night, this one could be more interesting than a GSP-Silva fight right now. It’s a fantastic fight between the greatest 170 lb. fighter in the world in St. Pierre and an extremely exciting fighter in Diaz that will, at the very least, pull out a massive effort from the champion in a title fight. If the UFC can figure out how they can bring Diaz into the fold with the Showtime and Strikeforce hold ups, and can convince him to take the GSP fight instead of making an attempt to go to boxing, this could definitely come to fruition.
[GSP art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]