Have you ever watched a movie where there was a fight scene involved and the make-up department went a little overboard when applying blood and bruises? That’s what I thought I was watching Saturday night as BJ Penn and Nick Diaz beat the s**t out of each other for three rounds in the main event of UFC 137.
It was a card that needed a great main event and Penn and Diaz gave us just that, if not more. It was a true old-school fight in every sense of the word. The fight reminded me of the kind you used to see in middle school when a guy said something to another guy’s girl and pride became involved. Penn started quickly, but soon Diaz started to pick apart the former two-division champion and you had to wonder if Penn would be able to stay on his fight until the final bell.
I’ve never been to Stockton California or Hilo Hawaii, but I can tell you one thing…there are some bad dudes that come from those parts of the country.
Diaz won the unanimous decision and now finds himself back in line for a shot at George St Pierre’s welterweight championship. You know the same welterweight championship Diaz was scheduled to fight for Saturday night before a series of bizarre circumstances (along with an itchy trigger finger from the UFC) moved Diaz into the fight with Penn.
I am (and have always been) a fan of Diaz. The first time I remember seeing Diaz was the night he shocked everyone by dropping Robbie Lawler on his face at UFC 47. As Dana White put it at the post fight press conference “Nick is a real fighter…he is the real deal”. No doubt about it. Have you ever seen BJ Penn busted up in the manner Diaz left him? I haven’t either.
As much as Diaz may be the real deal and a real fighter, his interviews are becoming a real bore. I get it Nick, you make no money, you get no respect, nobody likes you etc.
I have no idea how much Diaz makes, but he deserves to be amongst the highest paid guys in the sport. As much as any other guy in the sport, Diaz gives you every bit of your money’s worth anytime he steps in the cage.
The part about respect and likability though is bullshit. Diaz has as many fans as any current champion or contender. People have always cheered for the bad guy and Nick fits that role perfect. There is a fine line between being the bad guy and coming off as a whiner.
The hair in the soup for Diaz is a lack of new material when he finds himself in front of a microphone. As fans we have heard this same story over and over. He was pissed at Scott Coker and Strikeforce and we all agreed with him. Now when he complains about Dana White and the conditions at the UFC I find myself reaching for the remote.
Diaz may be the one guy saying what everybody else is afraid to say. I have no idea if 1% or 100% of his complaints are legit; I’m just getting burned out on it being the first thing out of his mouth every time he is interviewed.
I can’t wait for Diaz vs. St Pierre. I don’t bet on the fights, but if I did I would bet Diaz. I think he is already in GSP’s head which could take the champion out of his normal game plan. I wouldn’t be surprised if St Pierre gets away from his usual conservative style and does try to give Diaz a beating. That was the term we heard from White when describing GSP’s desire for a fight with the former Strikeforce champ.
GSP has heard the criticism about his style from fans, media and in a roundabout way Dana White himself. He had his manhood challenged Saturday night and I would be shocked if it doesn’t affect his approach. Maybe I’m nuts, but I think we see a new champion crowned in the welterweight division come Super Bowl weekend. I just hope the post fight message is a little different this time around.