For a sport riddled with uncertainty, with no odds that can determine outcomes indefinitely, many questions are posed.
Even when an individual seems unstoppable, it turns out all it takes is a determined Matt Serra to get the job done. That is in reference of a historical upset, an upset that saw heavy underdog Matt Serra dismantle Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight title.
St. Pierre rebounded quite nicely from his loss to Serra regaining his belt in the process, and the UFC is proud to still call him their welterweight king. He exemplifies sportsmanship by always being a class act, always remaining dignified, and always being a master. We are talking about a guy with only two losses in 21 fights.
To bite on Paul Daley’s recent comments about his own success, 91 percent of the time when a fighter gets in the cage with St. Pierre they’re going to leave a loser. And that’s not bragging, those are facts. He is superior in every facet of the game.
For those who see the glass half full, St. Pierre’s opponents have a nine percent chance of winning, while 4.5 percent of that is based on one of the biggest upset in mixed martial arts history. Getting the picture yet? That glass is dry as a bone.
With the idea that any fighter can be beat, there are still factors to consider. Based on St. Pierre’s prior victories, it’s hard to see anyone stepping up to dethrone him.
Dan Hardy is capable of knocking St. Pierre’s block off, and so was Thiago Alves. Being capable and doing so, it turns out, are two aspects of getting a job done that do not necessarily go hand in hand. If anyone stood a solid chance of beating St. Pierre, it was B.J. Penn, and we all know how that went. After him, the rest are coin tosses.
So assuming St. Pierre gets through Hardy, who really is next? Many have opinions of what they would do if they played Joe Silva for a day. Now it’s my turn.
I am seeing a shiny metal object in the sand. As I reach for it and unearth it, it appears to be an ornate lamp of sorts. I rub it to study the inscription that clearly reads God of MMA. The lamp burns in my hands and I drop it, out pops a puff of smoke and Don Frye appears.
“What the hell does a pip squeak like you want with the god of MMA?” he bellows at me. “I’ve got places to be and people to smash when I get there. You can have one wish but hurry up about it Nancy!”
For starters, I tell him, “How about growing a pair and a real mustache while you’re at it”. But in all seriousness, I actually tell him, “My one wish is for all promotional boundaries in the sport of MMA to come crashing down for one event, one time only, just to see how it feels.”
He rolls his eyes, and tells me I can’t have an entire event, one fight only. Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar runs through my mind, but I can’t pull myself away from the one that has been in my head all weekend. I tell Frye to give me Strikeforce 170-pound Champ Nick Diaz vs. UFC 170-pound Champ Georges St. Pierre.
He tells me I’m a fool for picking two little tikes, but he grants my wish after I back him down with a cold hard staredown. Hey, this is my fantasy, it goes how I want it to, got it?
Why, you might ask? For no other reason than I believe that would be one hell of a fight. You couldn’t find two more polar personalities at that level of competition and capability in my eyes.
What Diaz lacks in tact and common courtesy, St. Pierre lacks in sheer grit and attitude. We’re talking about a doctor’s scalpel vs Rambo’s knife here. The conflict of personalities alone would make this explosive. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of the skill sets.
Diaz is more of a gamer, more of a grinding warring champion, where GSP is the ever calculated, path of least resistance champion.
Both excel at what they do, and they are very impressive in the process.
Diaz is a raw fighter. A fighter with a knack for taking a southpaw and unorthodox style to his opponents with a feverish pace and effectiveness that commonly leaves them helpless.
Five of his last six fights have ended by technical knockout, the other by submission. Diaz is rough and tumble, he is aggressive and capable of imposing his will without question. He moves forward and forces the fight, making him very dangerous.
His proverbial beard is as thick as Kimbo’s actual beard, and his hands are made of stone. Just in case his stand up proves ineffective, he just so happens to be a jiu-jitsu ground wizard; a Cesar Gracie trained jiu-jitsu ground wizard.
No one would dare compare Diaz’s strength of schedule to that of St. Pierre. To do so would be foolish. But he has proven his fight, the one he brings in the cage with him every time out, is a force to be reckoned with.
My question is only this – is he good enough to give GSP a run for his money? My initial answer is hell yes. Nick Diaz would prove a worthy test for the UFC welterweight champion. He may not be an odds favorite, but Diaz would teach St. Pierre a thing or two about himself.
He could bang with the UFC champ, and if and when he found himself on his back, his BJJ should hold up nicely.
Then again, Diaz has never faced a fighter of St. Pierre’s skill set or level of ability. All of his success and the impressions he has left on the MMA community have come at the expense of fighters far south of St. Pierre’s bar.
All that said, it isn’t always how a fighter does against certain opponents, sometimes the writing is clearly written on the wall. Nick Diaz is hard, a highly skilled predator capable of separating a man from his consciousness or a limb. Take your pick.
St. Pierre is as elite as they make them and has dominated an entire division at the highest level of the sport. With not one visible hole in his armor, the Canadian seems to have no clear challengers on the UFC horizon.
But if you look to the west, maybe there is a fighter in the UFC’s rear view that can give their champ a test. That fighter is the newly crowned Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz.
Of course fantasy land is in full effect as this piece is written. No one in their right mind is going to lose a seconds thought considering the possibility of these two warriors meeting any time soon.
That being said, I’m not necessarily in my right mind, to be quite honest, rather directly outside of it. Hence the piece you just finished reading about a fight I would love to see happen, even if it never will.
Tags: dan hardy, Georges St. Pierre, Matt Serra, Mixed Martial Arts, Nick Diaz, Strikeforce, UFC