Just this past Sunday, word came out that Showtime had prevented the potential Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz match up from taking place. Georges St. Pierre, current UFC welterweight champion, is running out of contenders that fans actually want to see him face. After his performance against Jake Shields at UFC 129, fans were spoke up, and told the UFC that they wanted GSP's next opponent to be Nick Diaz, even if it meant passing up a fight with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Nick Diaz is the current Strikeforce welterweight champion, and it appeared that his contract with Showtime wouldn't allow him to fight GSP, but UFC president Dana White dropped a bomb on twitter today:
U wanted it! U GOT IT!!! GSP vs DIAZ Oct 29th UFC 137 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
When Zuffa purchased Strikeforce, we were told that things would be "business as usual" from the start. Most people though, knew that the validity of that statement would be revealed soon enough. It's only been a few months since the purchase, and now one of the biggest superfights that the UFC "shouldn't" have been able to make, is taking place before the end of the year. There's a great deal of questions coming to mind already, like what this means for both UFC and Strikeforce titles, will Nick Diaz become UFC exclusive, and what had to be done to make this deal happen? We'll keep a close watch on this story as it develops, and I suspect there will be quite a bit of interesting pieces of information that follow.
Josh Gross of ESPN chimes in with a little bit of insight as to how this match up was made possible, via twitter:
Diaz signed a new multi-fight, multi-year contract with Zuffa on Tuesday, which allows him to compete in either UFC or Strikeforce events.
It looks like Cesar Gracie and Nick Diaz did a hell of a job angling for this new contract. Diaz threatening to leave the sport, go to boxing, get paid, etc. GSP puts on a bland performance against Jake Shields (also in the Gracie camp), and the fans sealed the deal. Looking back, Diaz passed up a money fight with Jason Miller, said the right things, and won against Paul Daley...all leading up to this. Say what you will about Diaz, but he knows how to play his cards right.