|06-02-2011, 03:21 PM||#1|
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St. Pierre-Diaz Booked for UFC 137 in October
Since the March acquisition of Strikeforce by UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC, fans have clamored for one cross-promotional bout above all others: a showdown between dominant welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre (pictured) and Nick Diaz.
At first, the fight appeared highly likely to come to fruition. Then, suddenly, in early May, Diaz declared his intention to move to the boxing ring, and talks of the bout dissipated.
On May 23, however, Diaz’s boxing promoter, Don Chargin, issued a press release stating that Diaz had decided to stick with MMA due to an “opportunity of a lifetime.” Around the same time, Diaz was reportedly summoned to Las Vegas for a meeting with UFC President Dana White.
On Wednesday, White finally said the words fans longed to hear.
“You wanted it, you got it,” White wrote on Twitter. “GSP vs. Diaz... UFC 137.”
UFC 137 has yet to be officially announced by the promotion, though White stated that the event will take place Oct. 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. No further information was immediately available, such as whether or not the matchup will be a title unification bout.
St. Pierre, 30, has reigned over the UFC’s 170-pound division since 2007, defending his title six times and winning a remarkable 33 consecutive rounds. The French Canadian’s latest defense came against Diaz campmate Jake Shields in a five-round rout at UFC 129 on April 30.
In sharp contrast to the amiable GSP stands Diaz, 27, a figure often as brash and controversial as he has been impressive in his 16-month stint as Strikeforce welterweight ace. Diaz’s in-cage style also differs greatly from his just-announced opponent: whereas St. Pierre has gone the distance in five of his previous six bouts, Diaz has finished all but one of his last 10 foes. Most recently, the Stockton, Calif., native retained his belt by blasting British striker Paul Daley on April 9.
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