COMMENTARY | Former Strikeforce welterweight champion, Nick Diaz, is still serving out his suspension for testing positive for marijuana metabolites after his UFC 143 fight against Carlos Condit (he ended up losing via unanimous decision), but he's already shopping around for his next opponent.
According to Diaz' trainer, Cesar Gracie, the Stockton native wants either Georges St. Pierre or Anderson Silva next.
"We're pushing for the GSP fight," Gracie said during an appearance on 'The MMA Hour,' per MMAFighting.com. "That's what we're going to push for, GSP or Anderson Silva. That's the two fights that interest us the most, and that's the one's we're going for. … [Silva's] people are into it. We're into it. The fans, I think, would be into it. We've got to convince Dana [White] about it now."
White didn't seem to like the sound of a Diaz vs. Silva bout when Cesar floated the idea a while back, but the UFC's president is prone to changing his mind.
Even though the UFC doesn't usually reward fighters coming off a loss with automatic title shots, Cesar remains hopeful that Diaz might be an exception. After all, the promotion rewarded Chael Sonnen -- who lost to Silva at UFC 148 -- with a shot at the light-heavyweight title and a coaching spot on the upcoming season of "The Ultimate Fighter," even though the "American Gangster" has never even fought in the division (he fought as a light-heavyweight in other promotions).
"This is a weird game," Gracie added. "It's up to the fans, really. I really believe it. Things change, rules change. You can't come of a loss and get a title fight, blah, blah, blah. And then all of a sudden you see Chael Sonnen, not only coming off a loss which wasn't controversial, like Nick's was pretty damn controversial. … Chael Sonnen gets knocked out and he gets to go up in weight and fight for a title, and be in The Ultimate Fighter house and everything."
Cesar definitely has a valid point, but it's highly unlikely that Nick will enjoy the same privileges Sonnen gets. Diaz is a big draw, but he isn't on the same level with Sonnen when it comes to marketing fights. Like it or not, Sonnen is a gifted speaker, and his ability to connect with his fans and create interest in anything he's involved with is second only to boxing's Floyd Mayweather.
Given his skills and popularity, Diaz will probably get another shot at the title eventually, but his chances of getting the next shot at GSP are slim to none. It might sound a little crazy to some, but Diaz's chances of getting a fight against Anderson Silva are actually better than the odds he'll face GSP next.
Johny Hendricks established himself as the number contender in the UFC's welterweight division with his 46-second knockout of Martin Kampmann at UFC 154, and it'll be a great injustice if he doesn't get the next shot at GSP. Hendricks might not be as popular as Diaz is, but he's clearly a serious threat to GSP's legacy. If the "Bigg Rigg" lands one of his left hooks on the Canadian, it might very well be the end of the GSP era.
Silva on the other hand has made it clear that he's only interested in super-fights, mainly targeting a bout against GSP. However, it couldn't be any clearer that GSP has no desire to fight Silva, so I don't see that fight ever happening. Anderson also has the option to fight Jon Jones, but "The Spider" doesn't seem too keen on that matchup (he has warmed up a bit to the idea recently).
Given the fact, the two super-fights most MMA fans want to see will probably never happen; Silva vs. Diaz might just be the next best thing.
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