Tracy Lee, CombatLifestyle.com
Ariel Helwani is reporting that UFC president Dana White is planning to book Nick Diaz vs. Georges St. Pierre for a Welterweight title fight in Montreal in March. White said Diaz is yet to return his paperwork for the bout.
Dana White seems to have given up on the Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre super fight and is now angling to pit the currently unlicensed Nick Diaz against GSP for the Welterweight title. Ariel Helwani broke the news earlier today at MMA Fighting:
Diaz's manager Cesar Gracie confirmed the fight has been offered to Diaz, however, he said Diaz has yet to sign the contract. He was hoping to get that done either today or tomorrow. As far as Gracie is concerned, signing the contract appears to be a formality.
St-Pierre's manager Rodolphe Beaulieu was not immediately available for a comment when reached by MMAFighting.com.
Johny Hendricks has been promised a title shot and has declared that he won't fight again until he gets his chance. Hendricks has to be frustrated since he's riding a 5 fight UFC win streak, isn't suspended for using an illegal substance and has recent KO wins over Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann.
Diaz, on the other hand, is coming off a loss and IS unlicensed in Nevada until the new year because he failed a post-fight drug test for marijuana metabolites.
I think the UFC is making the right call from a business perspective, especially given Diaz' predilection for losing fights with top wrestlers. If Diaz were to have to fight again to get a title shot, the UFC could lose the GSP-Diaz title fight which they've trying to set up for a year.'
Initially they had booked GSP vs Diaz for UFC 137, but Diaz missed a press event and got demoted to the co-main event against B.J. Penn. GSP then was hurt and Condit missed his title shot.
Then they booked GSP vs Diaz for UFC 143 but GSP was injured and Diaz fought Condit for the interim title. Diaz lost that bout and failed the drug test after the fight. GSP went on to beat Condit at UFC 154.
The UFC is in need of strong PPV numbers and Diaz is presumed to be the stronger PPV draw than the relatively unknown Hendricks.