Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz may not be fighting in Montreal or coaching TUF 14, but they are going to meet for a UFC-Strikeforce “Superfight” showdown this fall. Dana White and the UFC made the big announcement earlier this evening.
UFC President Dana White’s tweet Wednesday afternoon was short and sweet – “U wanted it! U GOT IT!!!”
What the fans wanted was a showdown between UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and the STRIKEFORCE welterweight title holder, Nick Diaz. So on October 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, the UFC 137 Superfight becomes a reality.
The announcement didn’t include anymore details, so it’s unclear if this will be a title unification bout or a non-title affair, but Diaz’s manager Cesar Gracie did inform USA Today that Nick has signed a new 8-fight deal that will allow him to fight for both the UFC and Strikeforce. What he won’t be allowed to do under the new deal is box.
The St. Pierre bout falls under a new eight-fight deal that Diaz signed with Zuffa, Gracie said.
That contract allows Diaz to fight for both of Zuffa’s mixed martial arts promotions. However, it precludes professional boxing, which Diaz originally planned to pursue in the fall.
“They were very fair in their dealings with us,” Gracie said. “It was kind of a complex contract because of the boxing, so he obviously had to be compensated for not boxing and taking this fight instead.”
Gracie clarified with MMA Weekly that the UFC offered him GSP to give up boxing.
“Absolutely. We would have not given up boxing if they had not offered GSP. The conversation was give up boxing, we’ll give you GSP,” Cesar Gracie revealed when speaking to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
“It’s that simple. Nick wants challenges, he wants big fights, he wants to get to the next level, and the only way he was giving up the Lacy fight was if they offered him GSP,” Gracie said.
Question: Does this new deal mean Nick Diaz will finally be satisfied with his pay?
On a side note, it’s also unclear what this means for the other October events. It was originally believed that UFC 136 would take place in Houston on Oct. 8 and UFC 137 overseas on Oct. 15, but clearly one of those fell through. I’m assuming it would be the overseas event since the Houston event is expected to be a major show, but I’ll be sure update you with the details when they’re available.
Update: Some more details from Cesar Gracie in an interview with Ariel Helwani:
Is Nick now a UFC fighter?
You know what? That’s an interesting question and they have not told me how they’re going to structure that.
So is his Strikeforce belt on the line?
I don’t know. I truly don’t. They haven’t told me if his belt is on the line. I don’t think so. This is not like that because if his belt was on the line that would make GSP the Strikeforce champion (if he wins). And then what? He’s going to fight someone from Strikeforce? I don’t think that’s happening. But then again, refer to Dana on that one because I truly don’t know.
Over the weekend, Dana White referred to some issues which were stopping this fight from being made. Do you know how those were resolved?
There was a lot of misinformation — there were a lot of reports out there that weren’t true. Showtime, I don’t think was a problem, to be honest with you, at all. They don’t have a contract with Nick. Nick’s contract is strictly with Explosion [Strikeforce’s parent company prior to the Zuffa purchase]. It has never been a contract with Showtime. So the reports you heard were erroneous and false. Other than that, the hurdles were the [Jeff] Lacy thing, stuff like that. I don’t know if they were Strikeforce, and if they were, Nick signed a new contract that dissolved his old contract with Strikeforce.