Controversial welterweight Nick Diaz’s camp recently came out in an attempt to draw UFC 137 opponent B.J. Penn into a five-round fight at the event after seeing the match-up moved to the main event with Georges St. Pierre’s removal from the card due to injury.
While Penn’s team said the decision to add two more rounds on to the bout would be related to conditioning, the former double-divisional champion has since come out to explain it has nothing to do with cardio – it has to do with cold, hard cash.
“Cesar (Gracie) is a strange guy. I don’t know why he did that in the first place,” replied the popular Hawaiian when asked in a recent conference call about the initial challenge from his competitor’s manager.
“I think Cesar should have to be the guy to compensate me to take it, not Dana (White). But at the end of day, no, I don’t mind. I’d love to do a five-round fight, he continued before adding a caveat. “If I’m compensated, this is a job…there’s nothing wrong with a main event being five rounds.”
Penn and Diaz will face off as part of a still-stacked lineup even in lieu of the recent change in headliner. Other bouts include Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Filipovic, Donald Cerrone vs. Dennis Siver, and Matt Mitrione vs. Cheick Kongo.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: If the fighters are open to it and there is no interference from the athletic commission the UFC should definitely make this a five-round fight. Sure, they might have to pay Diaz/Penn a little more money, but they’re also saving money in a sense because GSP/Condit aren’t fighting on the card anymore. It would also give the match-up a “big fight” feel beyond it’s current magnitude and, without the championship bout in place, UFC 137 could use the minor boost.