UFC Welterweight Champion Defending Against Strikeforce Titleholder
The first meeting of champions since the merger of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce earlier this year has now become official, with UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre (22-2) and Strikeforce titleholder Nick Diaz (26-7-1) set to battle at UFC 137. Saturday, October 29th, is the date for the highly anticipated showdown between this pair of skillful strikers, and the location of the event has been secured at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
“This is the fight the world wants to see,” UFC President Dana White stated. “GSP has absolutely dominated everyone in his path over the last five years, and he’s on his way to becoming the greatest welterweight of all-time. Diaz has been on a tear himself, and a lot of people think he’s the guy to end GSP’s reign. On October 29, we’re going to see a welterweight title superfight.”
St-Pierre has not lost a fight in over four years, with his last defeat coming at the hands of Matt Serra at UFC 69. However, the native Canadian did avenge that loss the following year when he submitted Serra with an arm bar. His current winning streak now stands at nine matches, making six successful title defenses.
“Nick Diaz is obviously a tough and very experienced fighter,” St-Pierre remarked. “Like me, he knows what it takes to be champion, and I respect that. He’s a very dangerous striker, no doubt about it, but at the same time his grappling skills are also among the best. Just look at his coaches and the guys he trains with. You simply can’t expect anything less than him being very dangerous in both his striking and grappling. Fans have been asking for this fight, and I think it’s great. Let’s do it!”
Diaz, who has recently made noise within the boxing world by saying he would like to try his hands in the sport, is certainly regarded as having some of the most dangerous striking in mixed martial arts, as is St-Pierre. The former WEC and IFC Welterweight Champion is also riding an impressive winning streak, dropping just one result in his last 16 matches and emerging victorious in each of his last 10 fights.
“He must be pretty good because he keeps winning, and people think he's the best welterweight out there,” Diaz said of St-Pierre. “His physical strength lets him take the fight where he wants it to go. He comes to the fight in shape and tries to dictate the pace. But this fight means I can represent my team and showcase my skills. It means I can prove I'm the best.”
Additional contests planned for UFC 137 include former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight titleholder BJ Penn facing Carlos Condit, unbeaten heavyweight Matt Mitrione taking on Cheick Congo and former IFL Heavyweight Champion Roy Nelson returning to the Octagon to meet Mirko Cro Cop.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Nick Diaz has since been removed from this title fight for not showing up to promotional events, and he was replaced by Carlos Condit.