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By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
Nick Diaz recently said in an interview that he wants to move to boxing and he doesn't see a future for himself in MMA. He also talked about not having anyone in Strikeforce for him to fight, that he's above anyone else in the company. The question I would have for Diaz is why then did he sign a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce mere months ago? If he truly felt this way, why wouldn't he go someplace else? The answer is that this is obviously a ploy to try to up his value to the UFC.
Nick Diaz could have some success in boxing. He wouldn't have nearly the success that he enjoys in MMA, though. Perhaps he craves a new challenge, though. One of the reasons Diaz gave for not seeing a future for himself in MMA is money. Hell, I have no problem with that, who doesn't want more money? Everyone wants to get paid. The reality, though, is that Diaz will likely make more money fighting in MMA than he would in boxing. The main reason for that is that he'll be more successful in MMA than in boxing.
Right now the UFC has to deal with the headache Nick Diaz is creating by his comments and actions. To borrow a phrase from Woody Paige, I'm solutions-oriented and here's what I would do. The UFC should sign Nick Diaz to fight Georges St. Pierre, regardless of what happens in GSP's fight against Jake Shields.
If GSP beats Shields, you have a Welterweight Title unification bout. We all know this is where things are headed after Zuffa bought Strikeforce anyway, why not have it now? Even if GSP loses to Shields, I would still sign GSP vs. Diaz. GSP would need to earn his way to a title shot, and what better way to do that then to have him fight for the Strikeforce Welterweight Title? Can anyone name someone who deserves a shot at the Strikeforce Welterweight Title more?
I know this is dicey, as Diaz and Shields wouldn't fight each other, but I don't think it would even be an issue because I think that GSP can beat either one very handily.
Giving Nick Diaz a fight against GSP will placate Diaz because it would be the biggest fight of his career, both athletically and financially. It would also give GSP a new opponent to face, rather than a rematch against someone he's already dominated.
The UFC is going to run an event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August. Royce Gracie has stated that he wishes to fight at this card. Art Jimmerson and Dan Severn have both publicly challenged Gracie to a fight at this card. If Gracie wants to fight another legend, that's cool. It'd be a nice throwback to his glory days, and it's a special occasion. If I had to choose an opponent from Jimmerson and Severn, I would definitely choose Severn. It's been a long time since Jimmerson fought while Severn just fought in February and is scheduled to fight two more times in the next few months.
I think a Severn vs. Gracie fight would be a good old school moment for the UFC. I'm for it, as long as it doesn't happen too often. It should be reserved for certain times and events, and only with fighters who are in shape to compete. Having two UFC legends collide would be a nice addition to a pay-per-view, though it should be the third fight in a triple main event card. It's nice to look back sometimes, but you also have to keep looking forward.
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