If you were waiting for the Anderson Silva vs. GSP UFC fight, you’ll have to keep waiting. GSP has officially declined the fight and instead hopes to settle a long standing grudge with Nick Diaz once Diaz returns from suspension.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]UFC president Dana White made official what I had predicted a month ago to reporters this week. White told reporters that the UFC welterweight champion has declined the invitation to fight Anderson Silva and instead is begging the UFC to sign a fight with Diaz.
“Georges St-Pierre went on vacation,” White said. “When he came back, we were talking about Anderson Silva. He said, ‘I want Nick Diaz. Me and Nick Diaz have unfinished business. We were supposed to fight. That’s the fight I want now.’”
Now this fight is far from a definite. White said that he has not approached Diaz with this idea, nor can he even find him.
“I haven’t even talked to Nick yet,” White admitted. “I was trying to track him down this week, which is always fun. So I called (Nick’s brother) Nate (Diaz), and Nate told me, ‘Listen, if you talk to him, tell him I’m looking for him, too.’”
This is not a surprise at all. As soon as it was revealed that UFC 154 did not sell out immediately I knew that they would be going back to Diaz vs. GSP, even though Dana said publicly a few months ago that Diaz would have to win a fight first before getting a title shot.
The bigger story here in my mind is that you had a promoter running around promoting a fight for the last month or so that had very little chance of happening. White spent the last month not only promoting Silva vs. GSP, but promised that it would happen. GSP showed zero interest in the fight from day one, yet White promised and promoted this fight. Why would a promoter run around for a month promising a fight to fans and media that he had very little shot of delivering on?
Unfortunately here the biggest loser is once again championship credibility. The UFC right now has two, three if this one gets signed, championship fights signed right now with challengers coming off of losses. The big story I think for 2012 and forward is the absolute disregard for sport over business the UFC has shown regarding their championships. I am not saying there is anything wrong with it because as a fan I’d much rather watch Diaz vs. GSP than GSP vs. Hendricks, but it is certainly a more blatant shift to business than past years.
So where does this leave Anderson Silva? The UFC really screwed up by signing Jones vs. Sonnen when they should have worked towards Silva vs. Jones. That fight isn’t happening now. Chris Weidman is hurt which takes the number one contender out of the UFC middleweight title mix. I am really not sure what you do with Silva. Maybe you sit him out until the July event hoping to sign Silva vs. Jones or Silva vs. Weidman?
[adinserter name=”366 right”]There is also the little hurdle of Diaz’s suspension that the UFC needs to get past. Diaz is still suspended. The UFC couldn’t even begin to promote this fight until February. That means we are probably looking at May before this fight takes place if it does. That is a long time to sit out your two biggest drawing cards in GSP and Silva.
My hunch is that if Diaz doesn’t get cleared GSP agrees to fight Silva. Sorry Johny Hendricks but as the boss said, you have zero leverage here.
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