Cesar Gracie helms one of the most exceptional teams in all of mixed martial arts. His stable of California-based fighters are some of the most dominant and exciting (we’ll make an exception for Jake Shields, the dude is really good) in the sport and, for the most part, display heart and grit that eclipse the most well-regarded champions in the game.
Nick Diaz, arguably the most prominent member of the Cesar Gracie fight team, is about to embark on the most high-profile fight of his career. The Stockton kid vacated his Strikeforce welterweight title to take on UFC 170lbs. champ Georges St-Pierre in a superfight with the UFC title on the line. St-Pierre is widely considered to be rivaled only by Anderson Silva as one of the very best fighters in the world at any weight and will represent the stiffest test in Diaz’s decorated career.
Though the bout is one of high stakes and will no doubt be one of the UFC’s most hyped this year, Cesar Gracie is hoping that St-Pierre doesn’t turn it into one that has the fans dozing off.
The one criticism levied at St-Pierre is that, considering how absolutely dominant he is over the best fighters in his weight class time and again, he often seems content to cruise to decision victories rather than to take risks by looking for the finish and Gracie doesn’t see “Rush” switching things up for his fight against Diaz.
“The thing is it’s really not my business how he fights; he’s not on my team, so, I truly don’t care how he fights,” Gracie recently told FCFighter. “Now if you’re asking me as a fan, yeah, that style is not what I like to watch. I like to watch guys that just go completely for it, take chances, and give crowds what they want, which is ‘Ultimate Fighting,’ not ‘ultimate stalling’ or anything like that.”
Gracie sees St-Pierre employing a similar strategy to the bout against his charge as he did against BJ Penn, who carries a similar skill set and mentality into fights as Diaz.
“I think he’s going to approach this fight somewhat like the BJ Penn fight,” said Gracie. “I think he’ll try to fight Nick the same way where he’ll tie up with him, try to keep him up against the cage, do a little dirty boxing and try to get him arm weary, maybe get some takedowns and see how that goes. He’ll probably be cautious from the top position but try to inflict damage depending on how it’s going.
“Georges is a great athlete and a pretty smart fighter. His athleticism often lets him dictate where the fights going to go, and if he’s comfortable where he can take the finish, without taking too many risks, he will.”
St-Pierre and Diaz are set to meet this October 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada in the main event of UFC 137. Tune in to see whether or not St-Pierre looks for a win via control or pulls out all the stops to make a point and put Diaz away.