Georges St-Pierre’s head trainer Firas Zahabi first told a local television station in Montreal, now he’s bringing the message to a major MMA outlet south of the border. And Zahabi is making it even clearer:
Nick Diaz should be the No. 1 welterweight contender.
The owner of Tristar gym, where UFC welterweight champion St-Pierre makes his home, told MMAjunkie.com this week that Diaz, not Johny Hendricks, deserves the next shot at St-Pierre’s 170-pound title above anyone else right now.
“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.”
He also cited the fact that Diaz, who is set to return from a year-long suspension for a positive drug test for marijuana metabolites following his decision loss to Condit in February, was the Strikeforce champion before joining the UFC last year and “climbed up the ladder all the way.”
Meanwhile, Zahabi said Hendricks, whose 46-second knockout of Martin Kampman in the co-main event of UFC 154 — where GSP defended his belt for the first time in nearly 19 months with a one-sided five-round defeat of Condit — also deserves a shot, but not above Diaz, who “has been there longer and done more fights and has bigger wins.”
It was mostly a reiteration of what Zahabi said last week on an appearance on French-language television station TVASports that they would prefer a matchup with Diaz at this point, and that it would also give Hendricks more time to build his name for a potential future meeting.
He also said that GSP would be totally willing to fight middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a much-discussed super-fight if Silva would come down to 170 pounds, but he does not want to move outside his weight class unless it’s a permanent move.
However, UFC president Dana White said at the UFC 154 post-fight press conference that Hendricks should be the No. 1 contender, and Hendricks said he would wait as long as it takes to fight St-Pierre should he take another fight, rather than risk his title shot.