GSP wants next fight to be against Diaz
SEATTLE — Georges St-Pierre is putting a proposed super-fight with Anderson Silva to the side to pursue “unfinished business” with Nick Diaz.
UFC president Dana White says the Montreal mixed martial arts star has asked to fight Diaz next.
White told reporters Thursday that St-Pierre (23-2) made the request after returning from vacation following his welterweight title defence against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 in Montreal.
“We were talking about Anderson Silva,” White said. “He (St-Pierre) said ’I want Nick Diaz. Me and Nick Diaz have unfinished business. We were supposed to fight. That’s the fight that I want.’
“Georges St-Pierre has been a phenomenal champion, a phenomenal human being, just a great guy to deal with for us. And he doesn’t ask for things. So if he wants to fight Nick Diaz and Nick Diaz wants to fight him, then that’s probably the fight we’ll make.”
St-Pierre and Diaz were slated to fight last year but White yanked Diaz, who does not play well with others, for being a no-show at news conferences in Toronto and Las Vegas.
Diaz was replaced by Condit but St-Pierre injured his knee in training. Condit then beat Diaz in February for the interim title, earning the right to meet the Canadian champion in Montreal last month.
Diaz (27-8-1) was hit with a one-year suspension after the Condit fight for testing positive for marijuana.
White said he has yet to talk to the 29-year-old Diaz about a GSP fight. But that may happen this week since Nick is in Seattle to watch his younger brother Nate take on Benson Henderson for the lightweight title Saturday.
St-Pierre’s coach Firas Zahabi raised Nick Diaz’s name in talking to reporters Wednesday, saying more fans in Canada ask him about a GSP-Diaz fight then GSP-Silva. He said it was the other way around in the U.S.
The St-Pierre camp has said their fighter is up for a lucrative Silva fight. But they have said they will only do it in the right circumstances — and at the right weight.
St-Pierre is currently in Europe. Reached by The Canadian Press by text, he declined comment until he returned home.
The 31-year-old Canadian champion has to cut to weigh in at 170 pounds as a welterweight. Silva, the middleweight title-holder, has to make 185 as a middleweight and has fought at light-heavyweight (205).
Silva is a bigger man. And the St-Pierre camp wants to make the playing field as even as possible.
A fight with Diaz gives them more time to negotiate the super-fight. And GSP-Diaz is seen as a crowd-pleaser.
Asked if such a fight could take place at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, White paused.
“It’s a good question. Yeah, I think it’s a big fight. It’s a fight that everybody wants to see. Its an interesting fight.”
St-Pierre helped fill the domed stadium when he beat Jake Shields in the UFC’s first visit to Ontario at UFC 129 in April 2011.
The UFC boss said he had no timetable for the bout.