This past Saturday night, over 55,000 screaming fans were treated to one of the best MMA events of 2011. From the very first match of the night and onward, it became apparent that this was no typical UFC show. Fight after fight of solid entertainment took us into the PPV, where former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson proved his worth, putting on an excellent performance against Mark Bocek. After a very short match where Vladimir Matyushenko dropped bombs on Jason Brilz, Randy Couture was retired by a stunning front kick to the jaw from Lyoto Machida.
Then, in the first title fight of the night, featherweight champion Jose Aldo battled against Mark Hominick for five rounds, earning fight of the night honors. Aldo fought coming of an injury and a long layoff, both men had their moments of glory in the fight, but Aldo's power made the difference, dropping and rocking Hominick on multiple occasions. It was a hard act to follow, which welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre learned quickly as he stepped in to defend his title against Jake Shields. GSP stuck to a jab, and a looping overhand right, but suffered an eye injury that left him inaccurate and on the defensive for the rest of the fight. The champion won, hands down, but Jake Shields wasn't nearly as defeated as GSP's past opponents.
After the fight, Lorenzo Fertitta tweeted, asking the fans if they'd rather see GSP face Anderson Silva, or Strikeforce welterweight champion, Nick Diaz. The fans were quick to respond, overwhelmingly in favor of a match between GSP and Nick Diaz. Dana White told MMAJunkie post-fight at UFC 129 that if he wants to make a GSP/Diaz match up happen, he'll make it happen, but also said that he needs to talk to Diaz:
"I've got to go talk him about boxing first, and then we'll see what happens there," said White, who said he plans a trip to Diaz's Stockton, Calif. home for a chat. "I do respect Nick Diaz's boxing. He's got good boxing for MMA, but boxing and MMA are two totally different sports, man – two totally different sports."
Without a doubt, a super fight with Georges St. Pierre will come up in this conversation White is set to have with Diaz. In fact, it may be the very bargaining chip needed to get all this talk of boxing out of Diaz's head. There will no doubt be a great deal of hurdles and red tape to go through, but I'm pretty confident that if Zuffa sets their mind to it, they could make this fight happen.
What does Nick Diaz think of a fight with GSP? Check out the video after the jump for his thoughts, plus, discussion on whether or not Nick Diaz is the man for the job when it comes to putting on an exciting fight with GSP.
Could Nick Diaz be the one to bring out the best in Georges St. Pierre? His history against solid wrestlers leads me to doubt it, but I'm not quite as interested in the fight, as I am the selling of the fight itself. Nick Diaz would be the most disrespectful, meanest, just down right grittiest fighter GSP has faced to date. Sometimes, Diaz actually stays pretty quiet, and mellow, but I don't see that happening this time. Not after GSP beat his team mate, Jake Shields. Also, if Diaz plays his cards right, he'll get a percentage of PPV buys, making it in his best interest to get vocal.
As GSP fought Shields, we saw caught a small glimpse of Shields giving off a bit of that Stockton flair, taunting the champion in a nearly identical manner to how Diaz taunts his opponents. For a moment, Shields looked to be in GSP's head, but you could almost see the great respect Shields has for the champion force back whatever frustration was building inside of him. Taunting has never been Shields' style, it seemed out of character, but effective for a short time. Diaz on the other hand, would be running his mouth from bell to bell. On the feet, on the ground, he'll be telling GSP exactly how he feels about him. Telling him things that a great deal of fans also feel, after back to back performances where GSP has coasted to victory.
If this fight were to be arranged, could Nick Diaz, of all people, become the people's champ (outside of Canada)? I believe he could. I believe Diaz would launch a verbal assault that the fans could get behind. Much like how Chael Sonnen capitalized on the frustration fans felt with Anderson Silva after his poor performance at UFC 112. The match has money written all over it, and Zuffa is aware. GSP and Diaz should also be aware. The news regarding this that comes out over the next month will give us some serious insight to how possible super fights between Strikeforce and UFC really are, and what lengths Dana White is willing to go to, to make those happen.