In an absolute shocker to the mixed martial arts community, UFC welterweight and former number one contender Nick Diaz has been pulled from the UFC 137main event against UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
The UFC appears to have zero choice on the matter due to amount of money these events cost, selling a pay per view and there was talks of the UFC countdown show being used for this event. The UFC can't risk the possibility of a Diaz no-show come fight night.
Remember when UFC president Dana White said 'play the game' this is exactly what Nick Diaz did not do. He threw away an immediate title shot and now will undoubtedly need to earn his chance again the hard way, the ladder. He will now have to face a mix and match of BJ Penn, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck if he has any chance of reviving his number one contender status and those three men are hungry dogs.
Did the UFC really do the right thing? follow me as i explain why the UFC did not do the right thing as much as many think they did
On September 7th, 2011 the UFC revoked the number one contender status of former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. The stockton native was actually in status of unknown whereabouts and we started hearing snippets from his head trainer Cesar Gracie who had 'no idea' where Nick was. Gracie told us how embarrassed he was due to the Stockton slugger's absence and agreed 100% with Dana White's decision to remove Diaz from the main event and enter Carlos Condit.
Now UFC 137 features two guys who train under Jackson's MMA in Carlos Condit and UFC welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre. Condit, holds a longer term served with Greg Jackson then George but George has been seemingly unstoppable under Jackson. Who does Greg Jackson corner come fight night and would he rather see long time student Condit upstage his most notable student in Georges St.Pierre? Has Dana White punched another hole into Jackson's as now Evans left the camp pending hisfight with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and now Carlos Condit facing stablemate GSP?
The other day MMAMANIA"S own Ulf Murphy wrote an interesting article on unions within mixed martial arts. The piece couldn't be anymore time fitting as we know ask "Would Diaz be removed if the UFC worked around a union?". A union doesn't always mean automatic pushing of the hand that feeds you but when dealing with powerful unions such as player unions the item gets juicier. Do you think a union would've stood by Nick Diaz in this matter or would they be forced to , to display their union's strength?. IF mixed martial artists had a union this matter may have gotten really ugly right about now but in the end i think they would have bowed down to the UFC as long as Nick got placed into a number contender's fight.
I think the UFCdidthe right thing due to the manner in which Nick Diaz skipped out on two pressers but a part of says they did the wrong thing. This hype and drama is EXACTLY what the UFC should have built upon. I like theatrics as long as they aren't pro wrasslin pyros and backstage drama but this all made Nick Diaz the ultimate heel for GSP to smash. This could have been part of the countdown show and the hoopla of what Nick Diaz is, the rebel. Now Dan Hardy may dye his hair and wear bandanas but Nick Diaz is a real mean mugging rebel. He doesn't mind flipping off legends like Frank Shamrock and talking enough trash to fill a dump yard.
Nick Diaz is in many ways a Stockton stereotype and that is great for business. You have St.Pierre in thousand plus dollar suits, under armour deals, Gatorade commercials and everything in between. You have Nick Diaz who wears a hoodie and jeans and is sponsored by Metal Mulisha. They are the exact opposite of one another. They are the Joker to Batman and Punk vs. Pop and every other polar opposite comparison. This fight was just gaining even more interest due to the no-shows.
If i was Dana i'dsitdown with Nick Diaz and talk first before the decision. If after that talk you truly cannot trust Nick to show up come fight time then pull him out. Nick has never no-shown a fight before and i really don't think he would have no-shown this fight. Sure, he has had a very unlucky time with wrestlers but the guy has grown leaps and bounds from his UFC days as an under 25 bjj guy who had zero stand up yet ko'ed Robbie Lalwer at UFC 47.
I know most here are not wrestling fans but what has been the biggest draw this year? CM Punk vs. John Cena. The storyline was the rebel (Punk) threatening to steal the WWE title on the same night his WWE contract 'expired'. John Cena the face of the WWE who was to guard the title at all circumstances. Punk won the WWE title and his contract expired that evening. It was a classic storyline in wrestling and kind of mimics what the UFC was going into. Nick Diaz was com,ing to dethrone St.Pierre and we all know how chaotic it would be for the UFC knowing one of their champions is a headcase who dances to the beat of their own drum.
I think every writer for an MMA blog was dying with thoughts of how much material Nick Diaz would give them and every fan would love a fresh breath of life atop the welterweight throne. I would've bet GSP to defend the gold but i would like it just as much if one of the most exciting fighters and chalk board material characters could do it.
If Nick Diaz gets another crack atleast a number one contender's fight it has to be BJ Penn. The reason this is smart is because now you get to delay the move of GSP to middleweight and have Condit get first crack then hope Nick Diaz beats Penn and you get two more fights out of GSP. If this was the thinking to delay the move up and find if Nick can commit at all would be a benefit long term booking success.
What do you guys think?