Dana White made Bj Penn an offer he couldnt refuse; defeat an opponent who would not threaten with the lay & pray and get your revenge fight with Georges. That opponent was Nick Diaz, the only man willing to fight Bj on Bjs terms. Diaz gave Bj the worst beating of his life leading him into an early retirement. Carlos 'the natural born killer' Condit after TKO-ing his previous 3 opponents, became the natural born runner when he faced Diaz. Begging him to fight, calling him a bitch and slapping him on PayPerView tv was not enough to persuade the 'killer' to fight. Diaz, with his SF belt on the line, engaged Paul Daley in a straight-up stand-up exchange WHEN NO ONE ELSE WOULD. When facing Daley, Josh Koscheck would not risk his title shot to entertain us, Tyrone Woodley would not risk his win streak, but Diaz risked EVERYTHING to prove himself. If any of you recall, that was the first SF event Dana attended after the UFC's acquisition of SF, and Nick put his reputation on the line with Uncle Dana sitting front row. He didnt have to, he could have used his superior BJJ and played a 'smart' game. Instead, by his own free will and fighter spirit, he delivered one of the most exciting fights of the year, so exciting in fact that Dana resigned Nick to the UFC and offered him an immediate title shot.
To put such emphasis on Nicks awkward interviews and personal life decisions is complete horse shit. So the guy isnt a good speaker, who cares?! I would trade 1 great fight for 10 great Primetime shows where the guys talk up a storm and get us all really excited, only to lay a dozy in the octagon. So the guy smokes weed, would you prefer he did TRT?! Be reasonable and be honest with yourself, is an opponent who smokes weed more dangerous than an opponent on TRT? I understand when the athletic commissions make a big fuss, its their rules and they have an image to uphold, its politics, I just dont understand why the fans turn on him too. Nick is a fans fighter in a game filled with selfish, point fighters. The fans, and Dana White as a matter of fact, should get down on their knees and kiss the ring. Because after all, where would the UFC be without the risk takers?
But In 2013, to be successful in the UFC you have to be more than just willing to put it all on the line, you have to have great talent. Speed, instinct, durability, athleticism, etc. Unless you have a strong combination of some or all of these, then big kahunas are just not enough. The 29 year old Diaz boasts all of these qualities at a superior level. Gracie trained long time BJJ Black belt, triathlon WINNER (he doesnt just run triathlons, he wins them) with highly regarded striking, Nick Diaz is a complete fighter. He has been stopped once, back in 2002 when he was only 19 y/o, a kid. In his next 30 matches, no one would threaten him. People recall the Diaz/Diego fight and say silly things like 'Sanchez destroyed him.' I had just started watching the UFC at the time, and watching that fight was the first time I was discouraged to watch another event after seeing how Sanchez could claim a victory by literally laying on top of Diaz and stalling. If you dare, go back and take a look, it was painful to watch. At the time, UFC newcomer Sanchez was on the rise and knew he was facing his toughest test to date, sadly, he decided to take the safe route. Credit to Sanchez though, for since abandoning that style of fighting and becoming one of the known beasts of the game.
To dismiss Nicks chances in this fight is ridiculous. Georges cannot KO the iron chinned Diaz, Georges cannot rely on Nick tiring out, Georges will not win the boxing exchange, his only chance is to cause some cosmetic damage with an elbow or two and hold on for a decision. What makes this match so interesting is the question, will Georges be able to nullify Nicks BJJ and safely neutralize him on the ground? The only other opponents that Georges has faced that had similar quality BJJ were BjPenn and Jake Shields. With Jake Shields, Gsp never took the fight to the ground, interesting no? With Bj, well, the truth is that between the vaseline and Bjs cardio, we never got to see the rematch that all of PennNation is still longing for. People, in case you havent figured it out yet, this Saturday night Gsp is in for the fight of his life. When Nick Diaz steps into hostile territory to challenge the long reigning UFC WW Champ, he is going to shock the whole of Canada as well as the rest of the world and become the most hated UFC WW champion ever. How long will he reign? Who knows, for sure the UFC will not be happy about having a 'crazy' pothead replacement to their beloved model representative. One thing is for sure, the anti-bullshit is coming, the Gsp/Jackson era is coming to an end and I for one cant wait!