The UFC is really pushing to get the Anderson Silva versus Georges St Pierre superfight done sometime in the May timeframe. The fact is that Georges St Pierre has not officially accepted the match. Does the UFC have another option? The bottom line is that Nick Diaz coach Cesar Gracie spoke to the press about the possibility of Diaz doing a match with Anderson Silva, should St Pierre stay away. Though Diaz versus Silva would be criticized in some circles, and it does not have the gloss of GSP versus Silva, it is a solid fight that could be interesting. Silva would open as the favorite, almost assuredly by a wider margin than the three to one GSP would, but let’s take a look at the reasons the UFC should not discount the idea….
First thing, it would allow St Pierre to defend against a stagnating list of contenders in the Welterweight division, starting with Johny Hendrix. There is a list of newcomers such as Demian Maia, Jake Ellenberger, Nathan Marquardt and Nick Diaz who would all be fresh challenges. Face it, if St Pierre does not want to do the fight with Silva, it would be bad to send him into the fight. Plus, the Hendrix-GSP match could headline an April event easily.
Diaz would want the fight, and accept the challenge. In fact, Diaz has experience fighting bigger, legendary opponents in superfights, as in April of 2009 he stepped up in weight and took out former UFC Champion Frank Shamrock. Granted a faded Shamrock is not in Silva’s league, but the pressure of the fight was big time, and it will help Diaz face the maelstrom of press he will face.
Silva is far and away acknowledged as the best and most precise striker we have seen in MMA. Who is second best? Cung Le? A kickboxer like Alistair Overeem or Pat Barry? Well Nick Diaz would certainly be in that discussion.
Diaz and Silva both have flirted with boxing – and not your tough man level boxing matches, both have talked about fighting at a very high level. We will never know how Fernando Vargas versus Nick Diaz, or Anderson Silva against Roy Jones Jr would go, but both men wanted the fights and approached them with confidence.
So both men are going to come to fight standing. The essential thing will be for Diaz to stay standing, as Silva’s compact strikes have KO’d much bigger people than Diaz with regularity. If Diaz can avoid getting hit and stay on his feet, then his next challenge will be to hit Silva, who is obviously as illusive as an MMA fighter gets. Diaz is a volume puncher who looks to out work his opponents, and is amazingly successful at breaking down opponents over a long fight.
This makes the fight something worth watching, and more exciting than the talked about GSP fight, on paper. They have to do it in the octagon, but the fight is relevant enough to be called a Superfight, which is where Silva wants to be, it gives Diaz a challenge which is the best way to motivate him, and it injects life into what has been a stagnant Welterweight division. Dana, make it happen.