Now that Zuffa owns both the UFC and Strikeforce, wouldn't it make sense to square them off? Diaz is begging for the bout, and their coaches believe it should be next.
Firas Zahabi said that with Diaz still in the wings, GSP still faces enough of a challenge at welterweight to not move up to middleweight. From MMAFighting.com:
"If Georges went up (to 185) right now, he wouldn't have cleaned out the division because there's still Nick Diaz there," Zahabi said. "He's champion, so you can't say he doesn't deserve a shot. I can't confirm anything, but I see it as a possibility. They have two champions. It's always exciting to see two champions go at it. He has a great style. He has beautiful boxing, great jiu-jitsu, and it's very similar to his brother. It's not easy to fight a tall, lanky guy like that. And he's always very busy. It's a whole different style than Jake."
Though Shields and Diaz are training partners, Diaz's boxing background means that he could pose a much bigger threat to GSP's stand-up game.
Cesar Gracie, Diaz's coach, believes that Nick is the man to challenge GSP's safe style. From MMAjunkie.com:
"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."
In his bout against Daley, Diaz appeared to be in trouble several times because he took chances to try to end the fight. There was no danger like that in the GSP-Shields bout.
Let's face it, both fighters don't have many challenges within their own promotions or weight classes. Their trainers wouldn't suggest these fights if they didn't think it would be good for the fighters and their careers. It's time for GSP and Diaz to fight. Please make it happen, Zuffa.
- Nick Diaz
- Jake Shields