We all witnessed immediately after the GSP/Shields fight an overall cry for a Diaz vs GSP match. Kid Nate wrote an excellent piece detailing the situation. In it we find that both Dana and Lorenzo are pretty fixed on making this happen. Know what that means? It's going to happen. So, how does it happen? Nick is a SHO/Strikeforce fighter. It would make no sense for Forza to burn the bridge with SHO, by finding a way to poach the organization's biggest star, with a contract in place till 2014. They are smart, they will make a deal.
Dpez71 posted this in the comments section and I think he is on the right track:
Ken Hershman, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Scott Coker are all extremely level headed businessmen. Consider the fact that Hershman and Coker were able to negotiate a new deal with M-1 says a ton about their patience and ability to negotiate. Lorenzo stayed on top of the Strikeforce acquisitions negotiations for months and delivered. Making a GSP/Nick Diaz fight should be a walk in the park. Coming out of the Diaz/Daley event there were two fights that I believe everyone wanted see. Nick Diaz vs GSP and Gilbert Melendez against the UFC LW champ, whether it be Edgar, Maynard or Pettis. So, it's time to horse trade.
Wouldn’t it make sense to make a bit of a trade to keep both parties happy? BJ Penn doesn’t have a huge fight waiting for him in the UFC, send him to fight Gil on Showtime in exchange for Nick fighting GSP. Melendez v Penn would probably do better numbers than Diaz v Woodley, and the UFC gets a monster main event with GSP v Diaz. Win win.
It's obvious that the UFC desperately wants the GSP/Diaz fight to happen. There is money all over it. I keep reading about how GSP will just lay on Nick for five rounds but the Nick Diaz of today is not the Nick Diaz that lost to Sean Sherk. That was five years ago. That is a lifetime in fighter development. Nick's BJJ has improved so much and he is a dangerous fighter on the ground. GSP had the luxury of keeping the fight standing against Shields so he could take advantage of Shields' mediocre stand up. Diaz is the best boxer that GSP will have ever faced and every fight starts standing. This has the potential to be an incredibly exciting bout. That's what has Dana and Lorenzo salivating.
This means Hershman has some negotiating room. He should let Nick Diaz fight GSP. It will only help Diaz. In the meantime some of the other welterweights in Strikeforce can develop . In return, Hershman should ask for the UFC LW champion for one fight to determine who truly is the #1 LW in the world. Melendez was an absolute beast that night against Kawajiri. Giving that man the ability to use elbows just made him an even more devastating fighter, he clearly belongs in the #1 rankings discussion. They could put that fight on CBS or PPV and it would be fantastic for SHO sports and for us the fans. The great thing about all of this for Forza/Zuffa is they make money either way and I think they do wonders for their SHO relationship in the process.
What we would also get out of this kind of deal making is a blueprint for future UFC/Strikeforce deal making. We have some time before the SHO deal expires and there are going to be a hell of a lot of fights we are going to want to see between the two organizations before it does. The Diaz/GSP situation forces the issue to figure out a way to make it happen. I'm thrilled that a fight came to the surface so quickly that the UFC needs to make with Strikeforce. Let the games begin.