Former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz is tasked with fighting one of the best wrestlers in all of mixed martial arts when he challenges Georges St. Pierre for the 170-pound title at UFC 137 on Oct. 29 in Las Vegas.
So it should come as no surprise that he's enlisted the help of boxing champion Andre Ward.
Nick and Nathan Diaz will be joining the camp of Olympic Gold Medalist, Andre Ward. Ward will be fighting in the finals of the "Super Six Tournament" against Carl Froch on the same night that Nick Diaz is set to fight UFC Champion, Georges St. Pierre. Nick and Andre have sparred infrequently for the past 10 years with each man acheiving immense success in their respective sport. This be the first time the two fighters collaborate to spar frequently in an official camp.
St. Pierre is a frequent collaborator with famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach, who also happens to associate with the world's most dangerous pugilist, Manny Pacquiao.
Diaz coach Cesar Gracie is not impressed:
"I know that Georges is training with Freddie Roach but I doubt he's sparring Pacquiao. Nick will be sparring frequently with Ward and I think it will help him tremendously."
St. Pierre is coming off one of his least inspired performances since regaining the welterweight title from Matt Serra back at UFC 83 in April 2008. "Rush" went toe-to-toe with Jake Shields for five rounds up in the Great White North and not only failed to secure a finish, but lost a couple rounds on two of the judges scorecards.
It was the first time he had failed to win every round since his Aug. 2007 fight against Josh Koscheck -- a contest that saw a much-improved jab and flinty footwork.
But does anyone expect him to keep it on the feet when he battles the crowned prince of the "209?"
The Stockton, Calif., native, who recently scored an improbable come-from-behind victory via first round technical knockout over British striker Paul "Semtex" Daley back on April 9, is riding a 10-fight win streak where he's finished all but one of his opponents in dominating fashion.
This will be the first time Diaz has competed under the UFC banner since a Nov. 2006 win over Gleison Tibau and he hasn't fought in Las Vegas since Feb. 2007, a submission win over Takanori Gomi (later overturned to a no contest thanks to a failed drug test) under the Pride banner.
Will he make a triumphant return to "Sin City?" Or wilt under the constant takedowns of his Canadian foe?
Anyone think this is a good gameplan?