GSP trainer Firas Zahabi: Nick Diaz is No. 1 welterweight contender

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BuffaloDave
11/28/12 2:47:24PM
Tristar head trainer Firas Zahabi on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Georges St-Pierre dropped by his gym this past week to wish teammates well and get in a quick workout.

A conversation with the UFC welterweight champ about his future has yet to take place.

Zahabi, however, said that if St-Pierre decides for now to stay in his native division, he believes Nick Diaz should be considered the No. 1 contender.

Johny Hendricks is also deserving of a title shot, he said, but lacks the resume to be the next challenger.

"I think Diaz is the guy who deserves it most," Zahabi said. "His fight with Carlos (Condit) was so close. Who knows? People judge it both ways.

"[Diaz is] the guy who is the Strikeforce champion. He climbed up the ladder all the way. Johny deserves it very much, but Diaz has been there longer and done more fights and has bigger wins.

"If you want to be really fair about it, he is the guy who beat the most amount of names in the biggest fights."

LINK
sparky
11/28/12 2:58:04PM
I cant say I disagree. No matter who the UFC picks out of Hendricks and Diaz I think both are deserving of the title shot.
BuffaloDave
11/28/12 2:59:36PM
I think saying he doesn't have the resume, is a nice way of Zahabi saying, a Hendricks fight won't sell right now, as much as a fight Diaz would. Hendricks does have a pretty good resume,

9-1 in the UFC

Current 5 fight win streak

Has beaten 3 top 10 WW's in a row, 2 in under a min. Plus Fitch was still considered #2 by most when he beat him.

4 out of 5 UFC finishes were in the 1st round.


We seen people actually get title shots on much less. This is a time were someone actually deserves it. Right now Diaz doesn't, fact is he lost the interim title fight with Condit, whether you're on side 1,2.5, or not, he still lost, therefore should still have to at least have a fight and win convincingly before granted a title shot. Some will argue that he was supposed to fight GSP before too, but he himself screwed that up. I love Diaz, as he's one of my favorite fighters, but he shouldn't just be handed a title shot, before Hendricks.

quezocrema0032
11/28/12 3:03:41PM
I lost soooo much respect for Firas after this article. I love Bj Penn more then anybody but how do you argue that Diaz has bigger wins when Penn is his only win over a credible elite opponent (& yes that includes Daley, KJ Noons, & the Whitemare) & deserves a title shot over Johnny Hendricks wins over Fitch, Kos, & Kampman all rank ahead of Penn in terms of division significance. Johnny is the clear top contender & Firas lost credibility by arguing otherwise. Wouldnt it have been better if he stated GSP would prefer fighting Nick Because he is a much more marketable opponent & gsp doesn't like
Him, instead of claiming Nick is the top contender because now he looks like a liar
FastKnockout
11/28/12 3:39:57PM
Kampmann, Koscheck, Fitch, Pierce > Penn, Daley, Santos, Noons
blondais
11/28/12 3:41:07PM
Id like to see this fight more than GSP vs Silva
I-GOT-THIS-PICK
11/28/12 4:22:28PM
I think Hendricks deserves a shot more then Diaz.Have Hendricks vs Diaz for #1 contender
george112
11/28/12 4:52:30PM

Posted by FastKnockout

Kampmann, Koscheck, Fitch, Pierce > Penn, Daley, Santos, Noons



Sums it up nicely
Bubbles
11/28/12 5:17:02PM
Zahabi is channeling his inner Ed Soreass...it's not a good look for him
Gogoplatapus
11/28/12 5:22:39PM
The days of "who deserves" the fight are long gone. Most of you should know that.
jay98107
11/29/12 12:48:57AM

Posted by Gogoplatapus

The days of "who deserves" the fight are long gone. Most of you should know that.



Where's a Chael post when you need one?
DancingDoll
11/29/12 7:48:56AM
I would much rather see him fight Diaz first.

A lot of people (myself, included) thought that Diaz got robbed in the Condit fight. And even those that don't believe that will admit, it was an extremely close decision. If Condit was #1, then Diaz was right behind him. It absolutely makes sense for him to get a title shot next.

The Diaz vs Hendricks fight would be fine as well, I guess, but I'd rather see GSP back in the octagon and clearing out the division sooner than later after such a long injury hiatus.
telnights
11/29/12 8:56:39AM
If ask me Diaz is a easier fight than Hendricks. I think that and the fact that Diaz has been talking about GSP is the reason Zahabi wants the Diaz fight.
bjj1605
11/29/12 9:42:59AM
Diaz needs to win a fight before he can get a title shot. Whether we think he SHOULD have lost to Condit is irrelevant. He lost.

Shouldn't give a guy a title shot coming off a loss, although they've done it before.

I think the real message here is: "Nick Diaz is an easier fight for GSP and it comes with bigger rewards, so we'd rather take that one."

Don't get me wrong, Diaz would give GSP a good fight. But stylistically Hendricks is a nightmare for GSP while Diaz will play into his game. Diaz is a great striker but he doesn't have the kind of one hit KO power that hendricks does. Diaz is a great grappler, but he has no chance of wrestling with GSP.

Hendricks is so dangerous on the feet that GSP can never be comfortable and he's a good enough wrestler that GSP will have to worry that he might miss some takedowns.
airkerma
11/29/12 10:53:48AM

Posted by bjj1605

Diaz needs to win a fight before he can get a title shot. Whether we think he SHOULD have lost to Condit is irrelevant. He lost.

Shouldn't give a guy a title shot coming off a loss, although they've done it before.


This to the max. There is a clear contender and there is a great fighter who just lost, retired, and got suspended for a year. As much as I would like to see Diaz vs GSP, giving him the title shot would be a crime. Dana wouldn't be able to come within a lightyear of justifying this one.
jae_1833
11/29/12 11:04:55AM
Hendricks has a chance of "Serra-ing" GSP and everyone knows it. Diaz is an easier fight as he will just walk forward with very little head/angle movement and throw punches hoping to ko GSP. Plus Diaz will accept being on his back underneath a wrestler and then complains about it if he doesn't get the sub.
It's predictable to me to see the playground be at like 75% or higher with picks of a GSP UD....now with him fighting Hendricks it gets exciting. Screw Diaz like he did us.....make him earn his way back the hard way.....feed him to Jon Fitch.
Bubbles
11/29/12 2:59:24PM

Posted by bjj1605

Diaz needs to win a fight before he can get a title shot. Whether we think he SHOULD have lost to Condit is irrelevant. He lost.

Shouldn't give a guy a title shot coming off a loss, although they've done it before.

I think the real message here is: "Nick Diaz is an easier fight for GSP and it comes with bigger rewards, so we'd rather take that one."

Don't get me wrong, Diaz would give GSP a good fight. But stylistically Hendricks is a nightmare for GSP while Diaz will play into his game. Diaz is a great striker but he doesn't have the kind of one hit KO power that hendricks does. Diaz is a great grappler, but he has no chance of wrestling with GSP.

Hendricks is so dangerous on the feet that GSP can never be comfortable and he's a good enough wrestler that GSP will have to worry that he might miss some takedowns.


bolded is basically the argument for who Anderson should fight in a superfight, changing Diaz to GSP, and GSP to Silva

good enough wrestlers means nothing to GSP. Fitch and Koscheck are 2 of the best in the division and they still ended up on their back many times. Hendricks' only chance is to win Serra style. If you are going to strike with Diaz you are going to need to get inside his reach. Put Diaz on his back and you have to be careful not to make a mistake...what threat is Hendricks? Wasn't Condit supposed to be dangerous off his back? Penn and Serra have black belts and they couldn't do anything.

Diaz is a far more dangerous fighter stylistically than Hendricks. All that said, I agree with your 2 lines.
Wolfenstein
11/29/12 4:07:36PM
Look he has wins over Kampman, Koscheck, and Fitch--Nick has a win over BJ Penn, A great trainer, but he is making some asinine comments.
kingsmasher
11/29/12 5:59:51PM

Posted by I-GOT-THIS-PICK

I think Hendricks deserves a shot more then Diaz.Have Hendricks vs Diaz for #1 contender



I like this idea but the UFC will want GSP and Diaz then Hendricks and GSP....

After GSP got 700000 ppvs its all dollar signs for the UFC with his name...Doesnt matter who is deserving the next shot...As long as GSP is on top....
bjj1605
11/29/12 9:22:29PM

Posted by Bubbles

Diaz is a far more dangerous fighter stylistically than Hendricks. All that said, I agree with your 2 lines.



Not for GSP.
Bubbles
11/29/12 10:49:50PM

Posted by bjj1605


Posted by Bubbles

Diaz is a far more dangerous fighter stylistically than Hendricks. All that said, I agree with your 2 lines.



Not for GSP.


Diaz: solid boxing, granite chin, great BJJ, cardio for days, always pushes the action
Hendricks: 1 punch KO power with his left hand, solid wrestling base, fades after two rounds, unknown chin and BJJ.

We have seen GSP outwrestle very strong wrestlers in Fitch, Koscheck and Hughes. Diaz's guard game is far more active than Penn's; generally speaking wrestlers are bad off their back. GSP has one of the best gas tanks in the sport which Diaz can match. Unless Hendricks lands a Serra-esque punch, imo he has a very minimal chance to win. Diaz is dangerous standing and on the ground.
bjj1605
11/30/12 2:53:02AM

Posted by Bubbles
generally speaking wrestlers are bad off their back\



Psh.

You clearly didn't hear Hendricks when he said his jiu jitsu is more dangerous than his striking.

Bubbles
11/30/12 11:03:50AM

Posted by bjj1605


Posted by Bubbles
generally speaking wrestlers are bad off their back\



Psh.

You clearly didn't hear Hendricks when he said his jiu jitsu is more dangerous than his striking.



how could I forget
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