Let’s face it, like most everyone else in the MMA fight game, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was looking forward to a possible fight between himself and Nick Diaz.
For St-Pierre, Diaz provided a real challenge in the cage and a proper foil outside of it, an unrefined, no-nonsense fighter with fire in his eyes to GSP’s straight-laced, politically correct robot. Diaz pulled emotion from the champion and got him pumped up, something that none of his recent opponents (and perhaps none of them, ever) have done to the degree of Stockton’s favorite son.
Unfortunately, Diaz lost a close decision to Carlos Condit this month in the fight that was to earn him a shot at St-Pierre, effectively shelving that match up for at least the immediate future. Following the fight, Diaz announced his retirement from MMA, something that GSP recently told Sherdog he hopes the mercurial Stockton native will reconsider.
“As far as Diaz, of course I would like to fight him because he thinks he’s better than me,” St. Pierre said. “I think I’m better than him. But I think he should not retire. He did all of the sacrifice in his life to be where he’s at right now. He’s at the highest point of his career, and if he retires now, he’s left a lot of money on the table that could pay for all of the sacrifices he has made during all those years. I think the sport of mixed martial arts needs a guy like him.”
And St-Pierre needs a guy like him to stay motivated.
“I wanted to fight him because of what he was, not because of what he said,” said the champ. “He was ranked No. 1 before that fight. … As much as we dislike each other, I like the guy in a way that I need a guy like him to motivate me and to make me a better martial artist.”
St-Pierre is currently on the sidelines rehabbing a torn right ACL and is expected to be out of action until sometime this fall.