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The GSP Problem

By Elias Cepeda

(“I am not im-pressed wit my lack of title de-fense.”)

It’s time to strip Georges St. Pierre of his UFC welterweight championship.

Ok, perhaps not at this very moment, but come May 1, it will have been over a year since the UFC champ has defended his 170lb strap. St. Pierre hasn’t run from challenges or fights, he’s just had several consecutive knee injuries (the most recent one, a torn ACL that required surgery to repair) that have forced him to pull out of scheduled belt defenses.

Carlos Condit just won a razor-thin interim title bout against Nick Diaz at UFC 143, but would have to wait until the new year is almost over before being able to fight GSP. The Canadian says he won’t be ready to fight again until November. Unfortunately, we’ve seen these situations in the UFC before and a standard has emerged of champions needing to defend their titles at least once a year. In 2004, UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir was in a motorcycle accident that put him on the shelf. Initially, when it was unknown if and when he would return, an interim title was created and was won by Andrei Arlovski. When it was clear that Mir would go longer than a year without defending his belt, the interim champ was made the “full” champ. It wasn’t about punishing Mir, it was simply about letting the division continue, with significant matchups made and fights promoted well.

Even GSP seems to agree that he shouldn’t be considered the UFC champion while going so long without defending the gold. “The way I see it, I am not the champion anymore on Saturday night. I have not fought since April, against my will, but I understand the champion must fight. You have to put the belt on the line in order to call yourself champion, the best in the world. Right now I am not the best in the world, I am injured,” he told shortly before UFC 143.

UFC President Dana White was asked about immediately rematching Condit and Diaz at the UFC 143 post-event presser and said, “I don’t know. That’s crazy. That’s crazy.” Then again, he said it with a grin on his face. One has to guess that White wouldn’t mind another grudge match that features lots of Nick Diaz doing this in the lead up promotion.

But the only reason an immediate return bout for Condit and Diaz would be “crazy,” is if it wasn’t for the UFC welterweight belt. Condit having to beat Diaz twice for a shot at St. Pierre smacks of unfairness.

But take St. Pierre out of the immediate title equation, because he, like past injured champions, is not able to defend his title within a year, and you’ve got Carlos Condit as the defending UFC welterweight against his new shit-talking nemesis who just went blow for blow with him in a close five-rounder.

Automatic title rematches after close bouts are almost the norm in the UFC. See Randy Couture versus Pedro Rizzo in 2001, Lyoto Machida versus “Shogun” Rua in 2009 and 2010, and Frankie Edgar versus Gray Maynard in 2011. The only reason most haven’t been calling for the same to happen with Condit and Diaz is that there is currently the pesky matter of multiple champions.

Before UFC 143 the welterweight division had a love triangle of GSP, Diaz and Condit. Hell, St. Pierre was even a central character in Condit and Diaz’s Primetime special. After their close stand-up battle last weekend, and with GSP still unable to fight, we’ve basically got the same top three guys in play. It would be unfair to expect Condit and Diaz to go the better part of a year without the wages another fight would earn them while everyone waits for St. Pierre to heal up. And having either or both of them fight other men could just confuse the title picture further and push the rivalries that we’ve come to care about these past few months to the back burner.

White has said that Diaz fighting Koscheck next is interesting to him, but would it be to that many others? I, for one, am more interested to see if Koscheck can actually earn a win against someone like Mike Pierce after a gift decision Saturday. And with his wrestling Koscheck would have a good shot at beating Diaz, placing him closer to a third fight with St. Pierre that no one without a curly bleached FresnoFro wants to see.  I’d much rather see Josh Koscheck and Javier Mendez square off after recent events.

St. Pierre is the best welterweight the UFC has, but unfortunately injuries have taken him out of the game for the time being. He can’t defend his title the way champions have historically had to, or in a manner that even he feels is sufficient.

Don’t make Condit  sit out almost a year without earning a purse, the guy has a wife and kid to take care of, after all. Give the man the title he’s earned by winning against the number one contender and by essentially being on call for big fights for the last seven months and then let him earn his paper by taking on the man who made the “Natural Born Killer” turn to masterful tactics over his usual reckless abandon.

With Condit vs. Diaz II, the fans would have another evenly-matched blockbuster on their hands between two men who will start to resent each other more and more with each passing day. Would it suck for St. Pierre? Absolutely, but it wouldn’t be unfair to him.

Here’s an added bonus: Think St. Pierre doesn’t go for the finish anymore?  Imagine the aggressive riddum he’d bring when he returns to bear on the man who holds the belt he never technically lost.

Cagepotato Comments

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Mir please break Brocks neck- February 9, 2012 at 12:34 am
Condit WON the fight. He shouldnt wait for GSP. Then whomever he fights THEN.......THAT winner gets GSP. Diaz retired in the 209 boyeeeee....... Hey Nick! YOU DIDNT PUL THE TRIGGER BUDDY AND YOU ALLOWED THE FIGHT TO BE DETERMINED BY THE JUDGES. You failed. Its YOUR fault you got NOWHERE close to beating Carlos. You hear that? CARLOS CONDIT UNANIMOUSLY BEAT YOU. THE END.
theworldsoldestsport- February 8, 2012 at 7:01 am
the only reason people cared about Diaz fighting GSP was b/c Diaz could presumably make it not boring like GSP's last 3 fights against Hardy, Kos, and Shields.

having seen that a diligent (boring) gameplan like Condit had can make even Diaz anyone excited for the next GSP vs whoever fight?
XENOPHON- February 8, 2012 at 5:03 am
Nippletwist - Welcome aboard the Diaz adherents. I have flip flopped also after re-watching a fight - no crime in that. Someone here once suggested something I had long forgotten, and that is to watch the fight absent the Rogan-lame commentaries...................................................................Hard to do when in a room full of people, but the paint job the commentators makes is truly misleading. Many of the strikes the commentator spouts about, are not significant. I know its their job to TALK, as it was back in the days with only radio, but they really suck. As much as Rogan does a good job, its divisive to listen and stay impartial......................................................................I now believe when writers (like here) replay the fight in their articles, they sometimes fall victim to remembering what they heard, not what they saw. Most of the time that is fine, but in a fight like Diaz losing to Condit, it skews their finesse........................................................................Or in other words their ability to transcribe it clearly. In a few cases (names only bringing tears) they write with their bias. Maybe that is a journalism trick, or slide of the hand to seed this board with dissension, as it always divides the room.
Dagnut- February 8, 2012 at 3:36 am
@ NUKE BLAST...finally someone who gets it..I would have Sanchez and Kampann ahead of Fitch but
Crazy Croat- February 7, 2012 at 11:05 pm
Nippletwist - you think he won the third ? wait till i get there. now watch here and see that diaz even lost the first round
Nippletwist- February 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm
okay so i just watched diaz condit for the fourth time. before i had diaz winning 1,2, and 5, but i actually noticed some things in the third round i didn't see before and diaz actually took the third too. he actually hurt condit a couple times in that round. one of the worst mma decisions i've ever seen. diaz really dominated that fight.
RwilsonR- February 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm
@ McLuvin - yep. I was at that fight, and talked to Joe Riggs right after he got back from the hospital that night in the bar in Mandalay lobby. And I really wanted Diaz to win that night. I was a big fan of his after he KO'd Robby Lawler.
Mike Russell- February 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm
@amsterdamheavy. He fought after the Riggs fight, which was his third loss in a row. He got cut after wins to Neer and Tibau.
amsterdamheavy- February 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm
@McLuvin: Ya, with Joe Riggs after Diaz lost the decision at UFC fifty-something iirc.
FightZen- February 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm
How do you solve a problem like GSP-ia?
NukeBlast- February 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm
Problem is neither Condit or Diaz deserved a title shot.

They are just guys that GSP didnt beat yet that were close to a title shot when he injured himself.

Zuffa is smart to not let them fight true contenders because they would lose and then the UFC would get back to square #1, Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch or Josh Koscheck as #1 contender.
McLuvin- February 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm
Didn't he get cut for starting a fight in the hospital after an event?
XENOPHON- February 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm
@dranokills - haha, I bet you know all about gargling warm cum and feltching. Next time, try using that Drano as a chaser so you can fucking go die. Your like that monkey on the back, that one that won't fall off. Take that with your "Nigga Please" bullshit.
HandsofGold- February 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

You make a good point and that does make sense.
XENOPHON- February 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm
Dagnut Says: - I missed your entire long reply earlier, yes we agree with GSP hanging out to dry, this is the time for the UFC to flood us with many fights out of that division. With respect to the 1-1 assigned by you to Daiz, lets remember he was originally fighting back at UFC 44 - September 26, 2003. I didn't count his win and loss record, but he is no newcomer. I remember that Zuffa cut his ass after 2 consecutive wins in 2006, and I never figured out why. I guess back then he was equally unruly, and the UFC needed people to seed Strike Force.
dranokills- February 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Tue, 02/07/12 - 01:19

Fucking Croatians! Sometimes you just got to spell it out for their ass so they can get it. Arm Farmer, for you its gonna be pig Latin next time.
stop trying to talk while gargling cum you,fucktard.
Crazy Croat- February 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm
hahahaha ! google translator makes no sense whatsoever...nice effort though
XENOPHON- February 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm
Fucking Croatians! Sometimes you just got to spell it out for their ass so they can get it. Arm Farmer, for you its gonna be pig Latin next time.
XENOPHON- February 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm
@ Crazy Croat (Ludi Hrvat) & Armfarmer (Arm seljak)
Ludi Hrvat - ja znam o vremenu. Koristio sam da posjedujete neke tvrtke i radio jebene 16 sata na dan ponekad. Sada sam opet student Bum grad i girlie se povla?enjem težak. To je jebeno velik! To ne mora biti mast, stara ili ružna jednom pokriti Dole, ali ako je, ugrabiti to sranje za slobodnu vožnju. Mi je 30 godina shvatiti da je out. I još 10 godina prona?i mršav, mlad, sladak jedan za trgovinu i do. Ja uopce ne zanima da mislim da sada nosi svoje lopte u svojoj torbici više (moja mast bankovni ra?un bankovni ra?uni su odvojene) .... i ja još uvijek remen veliki pištolj kada je ona dobiva iz linije, a da se malo jedinica ga zna. Prona?i malo vremena, rade?i za ?ovjeka kao Jonesy sranje! GRIN
Crazy Croat- February 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm
ArmFarmer - lol, i thought it was me....
ArmFarmer- February 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm
Croat, don't worry dude it's not your english. That's just xeno. Nobody knows wtf is coming out of his mouth 75% of the time.
Reltub- February 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm
Condit and Diaz to fight again??? They already fought???....Wait that thing i paid for the other night was a fight??? Could have fooled me i didnt realize that those 2 guys were fighting i would have sworn they were playing Hide (Condit) and Seek (Diaz).... Dont waste our time and put 2 guys in that want to fight after all that is what we pay for
XENOPHON- February 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm
Come on Ben, when are we going to get to read the after fight interview from both Condit and Diaz about what they did right, didn't do right, or did while on the run?
Crazy Croat- February 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm
XENOPHON - lol dude, in english please - i'm a croat so i don't understand all the phrases you're using.
smellypiratehooker- February 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm
The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?