MMA fans finally got one of the matchups they’ve been craving all year, when UFC president Dana White announced the highly anticipated fight between current Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is now official.
Just a few months ago, Nick Diaz was considering a break from MMA. Diaz wanted to give boxing another try, and cited money as a major factor in his decision. Diaz was close to securing a deal with Jeff Lacy, but later decided to put his boxing plans on hold.
Diaz obviously used his decision to compete in boxing, as leverage with Zuffa officials. It turned out to be a wise decision, as the MMA veteran now gets the opportunity to compete on the world’s biggest stage, against one of the most dominant fighters in the sport.
According to White, the two MMA champions will meet at UFC 137, scheduled for October 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The fight between Nick Diaz and Georges St. Pierre will also be the first UFC versus Strikeforce match, something that will probably happen more often in the future. Strikeforce fighters like current lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez have already indicated a desire to fight their counterparts in the UFC.
In order to make the fight possible, Diaz signed a multiple fight contract with the UFC, which also prevents the MMA fighter from boxing in the future. The contract also has a clause, which allows Diaz to fight for both the UFC and Strikeforce. Diaz’ coach Caesar Gracie spoke to USA today about the contract:
“They were very fair in their dealings with us. 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.”
I’m sure MMA fans would rather have the highly anticipated fight between GSP and Anderson Silva, but that match will probably never happen. The GSP versus Diaz fight card should be a good draw for the UFC, and Diaz has the tools needed to upset the champ.