Score one for public demand and fighter posturing as weeks of wanting and speculation were paid off in one glorious tweet by UFC president Dana White.
Not only is a Georges St-Pierre – Nick Diaz the most significant fight that can be made at welterweight, it also gives fight fans what we’ve all been salivating for since the UFC purchased Strikeforce, a cross-promotion super fight.
It’s still not quite clear how we came to this situation. As recent as last weekend White had been quite vocal that there were obstacles in the way of making the GSP-Diaz fight a reality. Preceding that was Diaz’s insistence on going through with a boxing match against former boxing champion Jeff Lacey. While many figured this to be nothing more than a tactic to gain leverage with the UFC for such a high profile, high payday fight, knowing Diaz’s aversion to conformity anything was possible.
But, that is all a thing of the past as Diaz and his management team got what the opening sought a fight with the champ and the new found realization that he is now in a much higher tax bracket. In fact, to make the GSP-Diaz fight a reality, ZUFFA, the UFCs parent company, had to have Diaz sign a new contract deal that makes him an official UFC fighter, but one with some special quirks.
USA Today’s Sergio Non expounded on Diaz’s new contract situation with the UFC.
Officials for UFC's parent company, Zuffa, started looking into the possibility of St. Pierre vs. Diaz soon after the acquisition of Strikeforce in March. The St. Pierre bout falls under a new eight-fight deal that Diaz signed with Zuffa, Gracie said.
"They were very fair in their dealings with us," Gracie said. "It was kind of a complex contract because of the boxing, so he obviously had to be compensated for not boxing and taking this fight instead."
No boxing? Good. Sometimes you have to save a fighter from his own “Superman Complex.” Still, let’s get back the very real fact that GSP vs. Diaz is happening this fall. With Diaz essentially clearing out the Strikeforce division during his championship run, and St-Pierre doing the same in the UFC the only sensible fight for all parties involved were to fight each other. Additionally, Diaz provides a perfect foil to GSP whose last few outings have been more potent than an Ambien in causing drowsiness. Not that it’s entirely St-Pierre’s fault, his freak athletic nature keep even the most accomplished fighters at bay. This won’t be an issue with Diaz who routinely presses the action and will not take a step back in his assault at any point in the fight. You couple this with the fact that Diaz is prone to smack talk and this fight will be one of the most anticipated bouts in recent history.
Sometimes the fight gods smile favorably upon us fight freaks. This is one such instance and kudos to the UFC brass for listening to consumer demand in making a fight that will be a sure-fire smash.
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