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Cesar Gracie: Nick Diaz would be a 'nightmare' for Georges St. Pierre

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Within minutes of Georges St. Pierre's victory over Jake Shields in the main event of UFC 129 this past Saturday night, fans were already debating who the UFC welterweight champ should fight next.

The Canadian king had looked flawed in the Octagon. His face bloodied, his eye damaged and his pride bruised after being booed by his countrymen in the final two rounds.

By the time the post-fight press conference rolled around, the media was already buzzing about a potential match up with Strikeforce welterweight champion and Shields' training partner, Nick Diaz.

Cesar Gracie, the coach of both Nick Diaz and Jake Shields, spoke with MMAMania.com about what it would take to set up a St. Pierre vs. Diaz superfight:

 

"Dana said he was coming out to Stockton where Nick lives to discuss it with him. We don't really know what he has in mind to be honest with you. We can do hypotheticals all day. I don't know. How bad is GSP's eye? Is he going to have to take six months off? That might be true. Why couldn't Nick box and then go fight GSP, that kind of scenario. Now if the eye is really not that big of a problem, and they want the next fight with GSP five months from now or whatever to be Nick Diaz, obviously it would be delaying quite a money-making contract in boxing. Is he just gonna give up all that money? There's so many questions right now and the only person that has the answers to it are Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta so I'm very much looking forward to meeting with those guys. Lorenzo is a guy that I truly like and Dana is a good guy too, a good businessman. We're gonna tell them our concerns and hopefully they have some answers for us."

"Rush" was able to thwart Jake Shields with superb takedown defense and an excellent lead jab. Gracie guaranteed that St. Pierre wouldn't be able to fight the same way against the Strikeforce welterweight champion.

Even Shields revealed after his loss that the "pressure boxing" of Diaz would give St. Pierre fits.

Gracie underscored those sentiments in our interview:

"Styles make fights and I think, for example, Jake did really well standing but it's no secret that Nick probably has the best hands in MMA right now. He really does. He knocks out all the guys that are supposed to knock him out. There's no question in my mind that GSP would not stand with Paul Daley for example, but Nick did and knocked him out. Cyborg, all these guys that GSP would feel extremely threatened by, Nick would stand and beat them up."

"I do not believe that GSP has better stand-up than Nick Diaz. I think Nick is the superior striker and if that was a stand-up fight, I think Nick would come out on top and that's an interesting match-up because Nick's jiu-jitsu is world class also. He has a great guard. He submits people, he doesn't get hurt. That might be a nightmare for GSP and the only way to know that is to have the two guys fight. We'll see what happens."

"I think what Nick does is he doesn't put full power into every punch like a lot of these other MMA fighters do. They try to get out there and swing for the fences and hope something lands. Nick doesn't have that kind of style. What he'll do is he'll jab you and some of them are very light. He'll just keep touching you and touching you and you don't know when the very hard ones are coming in. Nick can throw a very hard punch. Make no mistake about it. On most of his punches, he's just not throwing that hard and he times his hard shots but he definitely hits very hard."

Nick Diaz has been criticized in the past for his inability to "play the game" by people as high up as Dana White.

Gracie believes that's not that case and Diaz's celebrity has already reached a point where he doesn't have to play by the normal rules.

In fact, he believes that Nick Diaz is refreshing to fans and media alike:

"Nick is a superstar already. He is. Wherever we go with the guy, everybody, fan support, whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect his fighting style."

"You got a guy like GSP and he's fighting to just win and you've got a guy like Nick Diaz, who's fighting to beat your ass. The fans, I think know the difference now and I think that's why if you go to forums, if you wanted to talk about after this particular show, look at all the amazing things that happened: Randy Couture retiring, that's huge. You had that great kick from Machida, you had so many things happen that were phenomenal but what most people were talking about is Nick Diaz and he didn't even fight."

"You want to talk about superstardom? Nick Diaz IS the superstar right now and he didn't get there by playing any games. He's not gonna play the game. He is who he is and I think people are finally getting sick and tired of the BS and the polished answers. These guys are great athletes but they're not fighters and a guy like Nick captures the imagination of what MMA is truly about or was supposed to be about."

"I agree with Joe Rogan. I think Nick doesn't need to change anything. He's matured a lot. He's not the same guy that was beating up (Joe) Riggs in the hospital. He's not the same guy. He's had his outbursts like the whole Nashvillle brawl thing with Mayhem Miller. There's been a couple of other things, flipping people off, that happened after the Cyborg fight. Some guys in the crowd were throwing water at him."

"He's still a little bit ‘out there' but he's a lot more mature is what I'm saying. I think there's a great storyline with this guy. He's a truly, genuinely, nice person if you really know him and I don't think he has to change anything myself ... I think it would be disingenuous for him to be all polished and glossed over and fake and it's just not what we're all about."

Gracie made some very interesting points about one of the most divisive fighters in the sport.

What's your take on him Maniacs? Would Diaz really be able to challenge Georges St. Pierre?

Sound off!

For the full audio of the interview with Cesar Gracie, click here.

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