UFC president Dana White shocked many MMA fans, when he announced current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre won’t be able to face former Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz on Super Bowl weekend.
GSP was removed from the UFC 143 fight card, after blowing his ACL during training. The estimated time to recover from the injury is 10 months, and former number one contender Carlos Condit will now step in for GSP.
Diaz and Condit will fight for the interim welterweight title on Feb. 4, and I have to say I’m just as happy with the matchup. Both men are excellent strikers, but Diaz does have the advantage on the ground. Knowing Diaz, he probably won’t even try to take the fight to the ground, and I expect to see an all out war when these two meet inside the Octagon.
When I think of Diaz vs. Condit, I think about Diaz’s fight against Paul Daley earlier in the year, and I expect it to be just as entertaining.
Getting back to GSP, an ACL injury is a pretty serious affair, and UFC fans can only hope he’s able to return to his previous from. GSP’s wrestling has been his strongest weapon inside the Octagon, and his strong legs have definitely played a role.
Without a full recovery, GSP won’t be as effective with his takedowns — considered to be the best in MMA by many — and that might mean a reshaping of the welterweight division. In addition, GSP hasn’t fought since April, so he’ll also have to deal with Octagon-rust when he returns.
GSP certainly has his work cut out for him, and his recent injury might turn out to be the defining moment of his career. If GSP successfully defends his welterweight title when he returns to the Octagon, his mental toughness can no longer be questioned.
As a fan of MMA, I hope GSP makes a full recovery and continues to dominate inside the Octagon.