Along with the announcement that UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has injured his knee and will no longer be competing on the UFC 137 fight card against Carlos Condit, it was revealed that the former co-main event scrap between BJ Penn and Nick Diaz has been promoted to the night’s main event.
UFC president Dana White indicated that the bout would be contested over three rounds despite being moved into the main event since both men have been preparing to fight for fifteen minutes as opposed to twenty-five.
However, in an interesting turn, Nick Diaz’s coach and manager Cesar Gracie has told MMAFighting.com that his charge is willing to go for five rounds if the Penn camp is willing to do the same — issuing the challenge 209-style.
“These guys have to prove they are ready,” said Gracie. “These guys are fighters. BJ has always said he’s a warrior. … The old school days of MMA, back when it was NHB, they fought forever.
“Don’t be scared, homie. Let’s make it five rounds.”
Gracie indicated that White has approved of making the bout a five rounder if Penn agrees, explaining that Diaz and Penn both need to be able to go for five rounds if they’re hoping to fight for the belt soon anyway.
UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz goes down on October 29 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stay tuned to find out if it will remain a three-rounder or otherwise.