It looks like Nick Diaz wants to go five rounds with B.J. Penn in the new main event of UFC 137, despite Dana White stating it would only be a three-rounder on twitter earlier today. Of course, they are now in the marquee spot because Georges St. Pierre was forced out of his headlining bout with Carlos Condit due to a knee injury. As usual, Nick's manager Cesar Gracie is leading the campaign for a five-rounder, speaking to MMA Fighting about the idea:
"If they can't fight five rounds against each other, how are they going to fight five rounds against GSP?," Gracie said to MMAFighting.com on Tuesday.
He also claims to have the big man's approval:
"Dana is good with it," he said. "We've agreed to it. If BJ agrees to it, we'll make it happen."
And of course in typical Gracie fashion, he had to end things with a baiting statement:
"These guys have to prove they are ready. These guys are fighters. BJ has always said he's a warrior. ... The old school days of MMA, back when it was NHB, they fought forever.
"Don't be scared, homie. Let's make it five rounds."
While a five-rounder completely changes the dynamic of the fight, it is true that Penn has been training for a three-rounder all along and it's extremely unlikely he'd be baited into taking a five-rounder even if Dana agreed (which I'm suspicious of to begin win). Basically, I believe this is just an angle from Cesar that serves two purposes. If Penn takes the bait, Diaz walks into the fight with a definite advantage. If he doesn't and BJ wins by decision, Gracie now has an out by saying "well if it went two more, Nick could have won." It's brilliant and lame at the same time.