August 4th. California. UFC 227. Mark it on your calendars now.
Arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time, Georges St-Pierre is set to make his sophomore return fight! His rival is set to be Nate Diaz, younger brother of formerly defeated opponent Nick Diaz.
On the surface I like you would say no way this is going to happen. Once Dana White starts talking about it, we can lend it some credence.
“Remember this is the WME era where rankings, sensical matches & old fan money aren’t super important as long as analytics/ monetizing metrics are followed & optimal profit is made. Give it a few days & we’ll see who confirms/denies.” – tweet by MMA journalist Mike Russell
“We are working right now to put together a Georges St-Pierre versus Nate Diaz fight,” White said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast Monday. “It is true. They would fight at 155 pounds.”
White added he is also “targeting L.A.” to make a non-title match between former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and former light-heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson on the card, which is already headlined by the T.J. Dillashaw-Cody Garbrandt bantamweight title rematch.
“In my perfect world — nothing goes perfect in this world — Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt, GSP vs. Diaz would be the co-main, Gustafsson vs. Rockhold and Derek Brunson vs. Antonio Carlos Jr.,” White announced. “It’s very interesting.”
If GSP were to win the 155lb title he would be the only person to ever hold a title in 3 divisions. If memory serves me, and it does, Georges used to have some difficulty making 170. To drop to 155 at 36 years old, after most recently winning the title at 185lbs is going to be a legendary feat in an of itself. Losing fat is one thing. How in the world can you safely melt off muscle?
Chael Sonnen interviewed Nate Diaz for his new talk show recently. At the end of the conversation the two discussed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the gi. Below is the transcript:
Chael Sonnen: I am retired, but I’m staying active. I don’t want to gain too much weight. I don’t wanna lose my shape so I’m staying active in the gym. I joined a Gracie Barra gym, Coach Fabiano Scherner, and I’m doing gi Jiu Jitsu on a nightly basis.Every night we go in at 6:30 and we’re doing gi training. Is that good? Is that gonna help me if I close my eyes at night and see myself as an MMA fighter? Am I gonna benefit from the gi? I know you’ve trained a lot in gi. Am I gonna benefit from the gi or is it a totally different sport? Because right now I’m feeling like it’s a different sport.
Nate Diaz: Oh it’s completely different, completely different. But I like the gi. I still train in it. I trained gi yesterday. I’ll fight for a little bit of time, but I’m gonna do martial arts, Jiu Jitsu and stuff, forever. You know what I’m saying? I enjoy Jiu Jitsu. One thing that people don’t understand is that in MMA people will call you out and they don’t train in the gi and these things. The fight starts when you run your mouth, right away. It’s like, “I wanna fight this guy.” Well you know what? Be careful for what you wish for. They’re like, “I don’t do the gi.” Then you go out to a club in Vegas, or where ever you’re gonna go, and there’s this fighter talkin’ s–t and calling you out. That’s when you forget that it’s winter time and you’re wearing a jacket and pants (laughs). Now you’ve never trained in a gi right? You might just get thrown down 10x easier with clothes on then without ’em so..
Nate Diaz: I dig the whole gi thing. I’m a martial artist. I think that it’s a fun workout as well, since you want to workout and be athletic. But, it is a different type of workout. If I don’t want to burn-out, get tired and overtrain when I’m trying to lose weight or something, I’ll put the gi on. It slows down the motions, let’s you get a little bit of a recovery workout. Not that it’s not hard. It’s hard too, but it’s slower than wrestling. I think it’s a good idea to train in the gi always.
Chael Sonnen: Alright well that’s encouraging. You’ve inspired me.
One would think that by the time you were a Purple Belt you would have a solid idea if you were going to benefit from the gi or not. You would also have actualized that BJJ is indeed a different sport. Oh Chael...