It looks like MMA fans will have to wait…oh another 10 months before they get to see one of the biggest grudge matches in UFC history. The planned Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz UFC 143 championship fight is off as GSP will need surgery for a blown ACL, putting him out of action until next fall.
UFC president Dana White broke the bad news on Twitter Wednesday afternoon with the following tweet.
“GSP blown acl will be out for 10 mos.,” White tweeted. “Now Condit vs Diaz for the interim welterweight title on Feb 4th in Las Vegas!!”
[adinserter block=”2″]So there you have it. The fight originally planned for UFC 137 will get its second delay, pushing the fight back until somewhere between September-November 2012, barring a miracle comeback from GSP. At 30 years old one has to question whether this is the start of the champion’s body breaking down after 9 years and 24 fights. This marks GSP’s third significant injury in the last few months. Whether it is a coincidence or not will only be answered when Rush makes his return in 2012.
I am starting to think that GSP vs. Diaz may just be a cursed fight. This is the second cancelation of a fight that now won’t take place until deep into 2012 at the earliest. The newest scratch is just the highlight of an injury-rampant year for the UFC which now sees its third biggest fight (Jones vs. Evans, Lesnar vs. Dos Santos) pulled from the schedule due to injury. I don’t care how strong your company is, when you lose three huge money fights like that in one year, you will be taking a huge hit financially.
The UFC will move into Plan B and match Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz for the interim UFC welterweight championship. Condit may be the luckiest man this year in the UFC as he now finds himself thrust into a championship fight for the second time that he didn’t earn. Yes Condit has won four in a row, but beating Kim Dong-Hyun is hardly what I’d consider a win to that earns you a title fight. Yet it does in the UFC.
There is the possibility that Diaz could look past Condit. Although right now, Diaz’s camp are saying all of the right things to squash any notion that the former Strikeforce champion will take his new foe lightly.
“I believe he’s better than GSP standing and not as good a wrestler, and [he doesn’t have] as good of a top game,” Gracie said. “I believe standing up, Condit is actually a more formidable opponent. So Nick is not known to force a takedown, so it’s actually a harder fight, as far as standing.”
[adinserter block=”1″]I look for Nick Diaz to thrive in this situation. Diaz has been unstoppable, winning 11 straight fights, and jumping back to the UFC as the Strikeforce welterweight champion. Diaz’s last fight saw him destroy BJ Penn at UFC 137, winning a unanimous decision. A Diaz win here and against another fighter would make his inevitable fight against GSP quite possibly the biggest fight in UFC history. From a business standpoint, the long term gain here could be enormous. At the same time, a Diaz loss or worst yet, two in a row would rob the UFC of millions of dollars. They got real lucky with the Penn fight, but nothing is ever given in MMA.
The UFC has some big money riding on upcoming fights in 2012. Evans vs. Jones, GSP vs. Diaz, and Lesnar vs. Dos Santos has the potential to bring even more money in 2012 than any of those fights would have brought this year. However, the chances of every card falling into place for the UFC are dubious at best. Jones vs. Davis, Dos Santos vs. Overeem, and Condit vs. GSP just don’t have the same ring to them.
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