I believe just as much as anyone that Nick Diaz is worthy of a Georges St. Pierre caliber opponent. After he walked through Paul Daley with an impressive technical knockout win in an explosive and exciting first round, it became impossible to doubt just how proficient the Stockton, Calif. native is on his feet.
My only question is this: With talks of a St. Pierre vs. Diaz title fight in the works for UFC 140 this December, and even rumors that they're under consideration for the vacant Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 coaching slots, would it even be worth the time? Honestly, would it even be competitive?
Diaz, who was previously employed by UFC, has since fought in Elite XC, Dream, and most recentlyStrikeforce, amassing an impressive 11-1-1 record since his departure. That includes a 10-fight win streak with his only loss coming from a doctor stoppage against KJ Noons.
Everything that Diaz has needed to accomplish to prove he deserves bigger and better opponents, he's done -- and convincingly.
So what's the problem?
Although Diaz is dominating the Strikeforce welterweight division in the same manner St. Pierre is dominating the UFC's, there are a number of variables that may very well lead to a lopsided fight.
In the entire sports world, St. Pierre's athleticism is close to unmatched but when you're talking MMA, there's no question that it is. His well-rounded skill-set and strong wrestling game has the ability to completely control fights, exactly the way he has shown us so many times throughout his career.
In addition, "Rush" has some of, if not the, best takedowns in the sport with a will that is nearly unbreakable. Putting aside the criticism of his lack of finishing recent fights, GSP has found a way to win for a very, very long time.
An attitude that sometimes carries serious repercussions, and the confidence that comes with such an "F the world" mentality, has brought Nick Diaz all kinds of attention, both good and bad. His subsequent success in the cage has made him a superstar.
As far as his skills, he has an exceptional ground game with his well known jiu-jitsu pedigree to go along with a scrappy striking style. Put it all together and he's an incredibly difficult match-up for anyone.
The problem with a fight with St. Pierre is that his overall skills more or less cancel out everything Diaz brings to the table. His ability to dominate in wrestling and survive dangerous jiu-jitsu practitioners (see Shields, Jake), as well as win fights with his boxing via a simple jab (see Koscheck, Josh), is a testament to that fact.
The French-Canadian has handled Shields, Koscheck, Dan Hardy, and Thiago Alves in his last four fights, all of which he has, despite all the criticism, won decisively. That's just the tip of the iceberg as far as St. Pierre's overall accomplishments go. We haven't even mentioned his drubbing of such elite fighters like Matt Hughesand Jon Fitch.
And with all due respect to Nick Diaz's previous opponents, they simply do not match up to the caliber of fighter "Rush" has been dealing with for the past few years.
Not only are these two 170-pound champions in different leagues, both literally and figuratively, so, too, have been all their opponents.
Nick Diaz vs. Georges St. Pierre, in due time, could make for an epic title fight. But for now, I believe this fight has too much of a chance to be a massive disappointment. It could very well end up just being a repeat of Rory MacDonald's domination of Nick's brother, Nate Diaz, back at UFC 129 on April 30.
Diaz's win streak and record over the past few years has been impressive and is definitely nothing to scoff at. Is it enough to earn him a shot at Georges St. Pierre's coveted UFC welterweight championship? Yes, it probably is.
Just don't expect the fight to be all that competitive.