When Georges St. Pierre bowed out of the main event at UFC 137 due to a knee injury his scheduled opponent, Carlos Condit, quickly did the same citing his desire to wait for the title-shot he’d been promised at this weekend’s event. However, in the ever uncertain world of MMA nothing is guaranteed, and as such a significant number of people believe Nick Diaz could – even should – leapfrog Condit and return to top contendership with a victory on Saturday night over B.J. Penn.
One of those individuals, understandably, is Cesar Gracie who serves as both Diaz’s coach and manager.
“This is the UFC so there’s always that chance,” the famed instructor explained on a recent episode of The MMA Hour “There’s no question about it that I will ask for that if Nick has a tremendous performance and he can finish B.J., I would ask for that.”
“But the biggest thing is if the fans want it,” Gracie continued. “If the fans all ask for that, Dana (White) is a smart guy. He knows the sport is about the fans. So who knows?”
Of course, as fans know, Diaz already saw a chance at winning GSP’s championship slip through his fingers after flaking on a few media-related appearances. Still, Gracie refuses to hold the mistake against his prize pupil who he credited with being a hard-worker in the gym and representing the Graciefighter brand with pride.
“He’s fought the good fight, and he’s done everything I could imagine a guy can do,” said Gracie on Diaz. “I don’t have any expectations of what he owes me or owes my school or anything like that. If he quit fighting tomorrow, his accomplishments are still impressive. He’s got nothing to prove to me. I was obviously disappointed and pissed off about certain things as I’m sure he gets disappointed and pissed off at me and other people at my school, but you just get over that. It’s part of that family thing.”
Before Gracie’s request can be made, as he pointed out, Diaz has to first take out Penn, without question a steep hill to climb. Fans can catch their headlining fight on the PPV portion of UFC 137 starting at 9:00 PM EST with preliminary pairings being broadcast through Facebook/Spike in the preceding hours.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: If Diaz finishes Penn he should absolutely get a shot at St. Pierre. Let’s not forget Condit was given the title-fight because Diaz messed up, and if the former Strikeforce champ was top contender before he most certainly should be again with a win over an icon like Baby Jay.