The UFC is scrambling after the CSAC halted plans to use Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping as The Ultimate Fighter 14 head coaches. One meeting and a lot of rumors later suggest that the new plan is Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz on TUF 14 with a subsequent fight in Montreal.
[adinserter block=”1″]Dave Meltzer spoke as if it was practically a done deal on his Sunday night podcast. The new plan would pit the UFC vs. Strikeforce welterweight champions against each other first coaching UFC hopefuls in the next season of The Ultimate Fighter and then in a Super Fight the week after the finale in Montreal.
While nothing has been officially announced, it hasn’t stopped bookmakers from releasing early GSP vs. Diaz fight odds.
Before anyone gets too excited, I came across a really interesting editorial on a Canadian website that paints a much different picture of this possibility. An editorial from Joe Ferraro writes about a variety of reasons that Georges St-Pierre wouldn’t be down for this scenario. Ferraro says he spoke to sources close to GSP who say that Georges wouldn’t likely do the show again. Ferraro also says that Team GSP sources tell him that GSP wants to fight much sooner than December, thus taking this scenario off of the table.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 would be the last TUF on the current UFC/Spike TV contract. The UFC are currently negotiating a new deal so the idea here (like Sonnen vs. Bisping) is to rebound in a big way from a dull and disappointing season 13. Nick Diaz would certainly have a lot of people talking and has the potential to really turn the show around. As for GSP, I didn’t particularly find him that engaging on TUF 12 and seeing him coach twice in one year could be a bit much for the MMA landscape.
I think the success of the show really comes down to Diaz. Diaz is a real wild card as anyone could see if they search for Nick Diaz interviews on You Tube. Diaz has the potential to go out there and really stir it up like Josh Koscheck did knowing full well that the more controversy he creates, the more money he makes.
On the other hand, Diaz has been known to shut down on interviews and during fight hype. Dana White has accused Diaz many times of not willing to “play the game” and who is to say that Nick does it here? For all of the controversy that Nick gets, he is a well respected MMA coach in California. The Nick Diaz who coaches in California may walk in there and completely disregard the “show” aspect of the competition and focus entirely on coaching the fighters. For hardcore MMA fans I think it would be fascinating to watch Diaz coach, but casual MMA fans expecting to see Diaz give someone the finger or threaten to beat up reporters may give up on the show after a few weeks of coach Diaz.
There are other rumored coaches like Jon Jones, Rashad Evans, and even waiting on Chael Sonnen with the reprieve he got from California. However the timing makes the most sense for GSP vs. Diaz. The Ultimate Fighter 14 premieres September 14. That would likely place the finale on December 3, a week before UFC 140 in Canada. The timing makes the most sense for Diaz and GSP.
I wouldn’t expect an announcement this week from the UFC. The UFC announced The Ultimate Fighter 13 head coaches a little over two months before the premiere. With the premiere of TUF 14 not coming until September, I would not be surprised to see the announcement delayed until mid-June.
[adinserter block=”1″]One other scenario would be to use The Ultimate Fighter 14 as a way to re-introduce Nick Diaz to the UFC audience prior to his fight with GSP. TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez has been making a lot of noise lately about wanting to coach and fight against Diaz on the next show. On paper a Sanchez vs. Diaz season of TUF sounds a lot more interesting than a GSP vs. Diaz season. I just don’t know if the UFC wants to go all in on the lame duck season of the show with someone who is arguably a marginal UFC fighter.
In case you were wondering, early odds have GSP as a big favorite against Diaz. If I were a betting man I’d grab those Nick Diaz odds tomorrow because he has as good a shot at beating GSP as anyone does. Especially the St-Pierre that fought at UFC 129.
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