Though UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre successfully defended his strap last weekend — for the sixth time — against the very tough Jake Shields, he likely did not win any new fans in the process. “Rush” dominated Shields throughout the fight, even pushing through a vision-canceling eye injury to pull out the unanimous decision, but it wasn’t a fight that many would describe as exciting.
Many expected that GSP’s next fight would come against UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva in a superfight, but with “The Spider” set to take on Yushin Okami this summer in defense of his own title, it looks like St-Pierre will be sticking around at welterweight for at least a little while longer.
The problem with that is the fact that the French-Canadian has defeated most every compelling contender in the 170lbs. division — except for Shields’ teammate and his own Strikeforce counterpart, Nick Diaz.
With the UFC’s purchase of Strikeforce and UFC president Dana White’s indication of interest in the bout, St-Pierre vs. Diaz now seems more viable than ever. Diaz’s coach, Cesar Gracie, recently told MMAJunkie.com that he and his charge are very interested in the fight and would take it if the deal makes sense.
“Obviously, there’s a storyline behind it,” Gracie said of Diaz-GSP. “Shields just lost a decision, and Nick wants some revenge for that. Nick is very confident that he can defeat St-Pierre. He’s a guy that could press the action against GSP and not let GSP dictate the pace. GSP has been a great champ, and hats off to him. But there has been criticism that he’s not really taking risks. With Nick, you have the ultimate risk-taker. He will fight you at your game. He throws caution to the wind, really, because he’s more interested in beating you up than winning on points. I think that makes for an intriguing matchup between the two.”
Gracie explained that Diaz would likely be willing to abandon his professional boxing plans in order to take the fight against St-Pierre; White revealed last week that he had plans to fly to Diaz’s home base of Stockton, California to discuss with the controversial champion those plans and Gracie told MMAJunkie that their camp is all ears.
“It would take Lorenzo and Dana to really come into this and show us how it could happen,” Gracie said. “It would have to make financial sense for everybody. So, we’re waiting just like everyone else to see what they have in mind, and I’m more than happy to listen to their suggestions.”
In Diaz’s last title defense, he took out heavy-handed British slugger Paul Daley via first round TKO in one of the most gutsy and exciting performances of his career.