The top goal for most -- if not all -- mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters is to become the champion of their respective division, a difficult achievement very few actually accomplish during their careers.
Nick Diaz, on the other hand, sets his bar higher. Much, much higher.
The Stockton, Calif., slugger has already claimed a world championship in the welterweight division during his stint with Strikeforce and now looks to claim the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 170-pound strap when he takes on division kingpin Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158 on March 16, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Oh, but don't think he's going to stop there. No, sir.
Diaz recently revealed that he feels he can win titles in the lightweight and middleweight division, saying he wouldn't pass up the opportunities to vie for those titles if they presented themselves on his path to become the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
His words at today's (March 7, 2013) UFC 158 conference call:
"I've looked past every opponent to get to the number one spot the welterweight division and then I look further beyond that. If it were up to me to say, I would take the fight with Anderson Silva. I would say, ‘yeah, of course.' I'm looking forward to the next best thing, always. The next best thing has always been to fight the number one fight. That's what I've been working for this whole time. I've always had that mind set. If I had the option available to me, I would be honored to be in that position and would be gratefully accepting of that position or fight with the (1) 85-pound champion or the 155-pound champion. I would take either fight and I think I think could be either guy. I'd like to be the guy to win a title at both weights. I'd like to be a runner up in the pound-for-pound rankings. That's the number one goals aside from the number one ranking in the welterweight division."
While "Rush" has already shot down two "super fights" against current 155-pound champion Ben Henderson and 185-pound title holder Anderson Silva (more on that here), Diaz is down to make those "super fights" happen if he can best the French-Canadian next weekend.
That's no small feat on its own.
Indeed, Diaz has his hands more than full against a very motivated "GSP" on his home turf. And if today's spirited -- and at times heated -- back-and-forth between the two is an appetizer for the main course in Canada, we are in for one hell of a fight.
And perhaps the dawn of a new "super fight" era should Diaz prove victorious. One that actually features incumbent champions proactively competing in different weight classes.