Diaz, who was scheduled to face UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre at the same event was pulled from the fight and placed in a bout with Penn in the co-headlining slot due to his missing of press conferences. Needless to say, the UFC did Cesar Gracie-trained fighter no favors.
Take a quick look at the past opponents that Diaz has faced – and yes, he has defeated them all. Since 2010, Diaz owns victories over Marius Zaromskis, Hayato Sakurai, K.J. Noons, Evangelista Santos, and Paul Daley. Not really a who’s who of welterweights in the world.
It isn’t the fault of Diaz entirely, as Strikeforce just couldn’t get any major challengers to face him. But, if you look back a little further in his fight past, you will notice that during a stint with the UFC that Diaz did not have as much success, falling to the likes of Karo Parisyan, Diego Sanchez, Joe Riggs, and Sean Sherk.
Penn, a former champion and contender to St-Pierre himself, is better than any man that Diaz has stepped up to face. “The Prodigy” seems to be rejuvenated after moving from lightweight up to welterweight, knocking out Matt Hughes and going three full rounds with Jon Fitch earlier this year.
For Penn, this fight is all about proving he deserves one more match with GSP. Expect a fully-focused and well-trained Penn to take care of Diaz and send him to the back of the line of welterweight contenders.
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PHOTO CREDIT – UFC