Many people, including myself, made a bit of a stink when the UFC announced that Nick Diaz would be getting the next shot against Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title. Objectively, it’s tough to argue that Johnny Hendricks is the most deserving of that shot, after having defeated Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and Martin Kampmann while Diaz lost to Carlos Condit and was forced to sit on the sideline for a year due to a drug suspension.
That being said, I am 1000% looking forward to the impending St. Pierre-Diaz fight. For starters, the lead up to the bout should be amazing, as it’s guaranteed that Diaz will be able to get under St. Pierre’s skin and do all sorts of other zany Nick Diaz stuff. If history is any indication, GSP will react by making stern statements about how he doesn’t care, when it is obvious that he cares very much indeed. At the same time, the fight itself should be equally as entertaining, and will be a true test of GSP’s greatness.
Because of this, and the fact that many of the hardcore and casual MMA fans out there would probably tend to agree with me, it is hard to fault the UFC for going with the fight. GSP-Diaz is clearly the most marketable fight the promotion could put together for the welterweight title, and is exponentially more so than GSP-Hendricks. Don’t believe me? Then check out the promotional posted the company has put out in anticipation of the event:
Wow. If the GSP-Diaz turns out half as awesome as this poster, the UFC’s decision to rush the bout to the forefront as opposed to giving the shot to Hendricks will be validated. At the end of the day, pay per view buys are what puts food on Dana White’s table, and there is no doubt in my mind that GSP-Diaz will have more people plopping down $60 than would GSP-Hendricks. In addition to competition, storylines sell fights, and one of the longest running storylines in sports is that “Bad Blood Runs Deep.”
Fair? No. Understandable? Yes.