(“Yeah homie, I’m looking at your cup. Really? Seriously bro? You are super rich, you’re pampered, you’re in all the magazines AND you’re hung like a horse! This sh*t ain’t fair and I’m callin’ total bullsh*t bro!” Photo via CagedInsider.)
By Nathan Smith
I can’t believe I am about to type this: A Nick Diaz victory over Georges St. Pierre would be the best thing for the UFC Welterweight division. As an unabashed, almost stalkerish fanboy of GSP, I should not have to tell you how difficult that was to write. But God Damn, that was not easy to write.
With the exception of the 378 days that were the Matt Serra Era (or the Matt Serra Terror Era), GSP has ruled the welterweight division dating back to November of 2006. Let that sink in for just a second. Serra’s reign withstanding, St. Pierre has been the champ since Borat was in theaters and Justin Timberlake was on the top of the Billboard charts. Let me put it another way: In November of 2006, Tim “The Diet Machine” Sylvia was the Heavyweight Champion and Sean Sherk was the lightweight title holder. Are those guys even still alive? There is no way of knowing. Needless to say, St. Pierre has had a pretty damn good run thus far and it might be time for a temporary change of pace, even though he has been an excellent ambassador for the sport of MMA.
Some say that “Rush’s” style is the epitome of dominance while others say he is a lay-n-pray specialist. Is GSP careful to a fault in his fights? Probably, but he has only lost 2 of the 41 rounds he has fought during his current 10-fight win streak. That is fucking insane. Even the almighty Anderson Silva lost 5 rounds to Chael Sonnen in their two meetings, and Anderson Silva once beat Mars in a game of Risk. GSP is athletic as hell and imposes his will with technique and tremendous cardio, but for the very first time in his career, he is fighting a guy with a gas tank better than his own. Diaz is a machine (<– follow this link for immediate proof) when it comes to his cardio and frequently competes in triathlons, which makes him an absolute freak even when compared to that of his fellow athletes.
But this post isn’t about the stylistic differences between Diaz and St. Pierre. It isn’t a breakdown of the fight or a tale of the tape. It’s about the fact that a Nick Diaz victory on Saturday night would be the greatest thing the UFC could possibly ask for. Here are three scenarios explaining why. I’m going to go throw up.
If Carlos Condit manages to beat Johny Hendricks and St. Pierre pummels Diaz, is anybody really excited about seeing a GSP vs “The Natural Born Killer” rematch?” Even though their first meeting was an entertaining 25 minutes, there is no reason to think that the outcome will be any different the second time around. I can see the promos now…the Hail Mary kick that Condit landed to GSP’s melon over and over and over and over again, because that is all the UFC marketing machine could do to make anybody believe that this will NOT essentially be a repeat of their first scrap. Let’s all be honest: Condit won 90 seconds of that 25 minute affair and there isn’t one person not named Carlos Condit or Greg Jackson that has any desire to see it happen again.
“Bigg Rigg” (why two G’s? Because fuck you, that’s why.) splatters Condit’s face and GSP beats Diaz. Yet again we are in a situation that is a little dicey. Are fans ready to embrace Hendricks as a legitimate contender? He has that country bumpkin charm and one hell of a left hand but he just doesn’t move the needle when it comes to overall fan appeal. With another victory, Hendricks absolutely deserves a shot at GSP, and his decorated collegiate wrestling pedigree could pose some issues in a potential fight with the reigning champ, but we have seen St. Pierre manhandle credentialed wrestlers before (ie. Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck). GSP is more of a Glass Joe than an Arturo Gatti in the chin category but that fact alone doesn’t exactly mean must see TV.
Diaz shocks the world and beats GSP. At this point, the Condit vs. Hendricks winner is irrelevant because Diaz would more-than-welcome a rematch with Condit, and during the greatest conference call in the history of the universe, Nick had less than flattering things to say about Hendricks as well (I know, hold your shock). This is a win-win-win for the UFC, the fans, and the entertainment factor pertaining to the sport of MMA for the next 18 months. It would take at least a year for Diaz, St. Pierre, Condit, Hendricks, Marquardt, Ellenberger and MacDonald to figure out who fights each other, who is ranked where and what the hell is going to happen next. The match-ups are not exactly defined for Joe Silva and that is exciting for the welterweight division, but more importantly, it is invigorating for the fans that have seen GSP dominate a division for the better part of a decade. GSP may be the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draw now, but a trash-talking antihero sociopath as a champion? Fans would shell out big money for a chance to see a ticking time bomb like Diaz finally implode.
Since Koscheck is a shell of his former self and Chael Sonnen is a mixed bag of hate and love, there really isn’t a true “Bad Guy” in the UFC. Diaz would be the perfect outlaw, riding into town wearing his black (presumably hemp) hat, chain smoking what we can only assume are cowboy killers. Diaz is a self-proclaimed slayer of all things bullshit and would wage war against boring fights. Clearly Diaz is a tortured soul, and if he were to take the welterweight title from one of the most beloved champions in UFC history (and God forbid if he managed to finish him), it would thrust the despised recluse into the mainstream, which he probably isn’t emotionally ready for. Can you imagine Diaz surviving a live ESPN interview without drawing the ire of the masses? Sure, it puts a momentary black eye on our sport but it also brings eyeballs to boob-tubes and gives the casual fan somebody to root against.
It all plays out perfectly for rubbernecking MMA fans that always enjoy slowing down to check out the car wreck on the freeway. It would be an absolutely beautiful disaster…until GSP reclaims the welterweight title during the compulsory UFC New Year’s PPV in 2014, of course.
At that point, all will be right in the world again.
But on Saturday, a Nick Diaz victory would make the predictable welterweight division a case of art imitating life imitating bumper cars and that is a good thing that a stagnant division desperately needs. However, this is all contingent upon the fact that Diaz does NOT piss straight sticky-icky THC into his sample cup during the post fight drug test.
Don’t let this (fist-posing d-bag of a) GSP fan down, Nick.