Gracie: Diaz would fight Silva if GSP doesn’t

November 27, 2012, 5:11 PM

A Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva super-fight is far from a reality and if it doesn’t pan out Nick Diaz has his eye on both men.

Diaz’s head trainer Cesar Gracie said that’s what his team will be looking for when Diaz returns from a suspension in early 2013.

“That’s what we’re going to push for, GSP or Anderson Silva,” Gracie told’s The MMA Hour. “That’s the two fights that interest us the most, and that’s the ones we’re going for.”

Although Silva has his heart set on a bout with GSP and many fans would also like to see the middleweight champion fight Jon Jones, Gracie feels fans would enjoy a Silva-Diaz scrap.

“(Silva’s) people are into it. We’re into it. The fans, I think, would be into it. We’ve got convince Dana (White) about it now,” Gracie said. “Obviously the fight that makes sense to them, and I don’t disagree, is Anderson-GSP, and like I said, I would watch that fight. That would be great to watch. But let’s get real. If GSP just absolutely says no, then what? You can’t make a guy fight. That’s the thing. And Anderson, if they want to promote a super-fight and if the stars align, I think Nick would be into it.”

Gracie added that he believes Diaz would have a better shot against Silva than St-Pierre would because he doesn’t feel the Canadian is durable enough.

“I don’t think (GSP has a shot) and I’ll tell you why. GSP, he’s great at 170, I don’t think he’s the most durable guy as far as taking punishment. Most of his fights are not wars where he’s getting hit a lot. He’s such an athlete that he can really dominate people, but they’re not like, ‘I hit you, you hit me,’ in this back-and-forth game. He got hit that one time by Condit, and bam, he was on his butt. In terms of durability, Anderson Silva hits you, you’re going to know it. And he’s a lot bigger.”

Diaz was suspended for one year following his UFC 143 unanimous decision loss to Carlos Condit after the Stockton, Calif., native tested positive for marijuana metabolites. He is eligible to return to competition in February 2013. Gracie said the UFC has offered the Diaz camp a few fights but they have not agreed to anything as of yet.

“They asked me, (Josh) Koscheck or Demian Maia,” Gracie explained. “I said probably Koscheck, more people have heard of him at 170. They’re both really tough guys though. But ultimately, we want the bigger fights. I could see, maybe, Nick and (Johny) Hendricks would be interesting. That’s what I’m thinking if they don’t give him GSP, maybe a fight like that.”

Diaz was scheduled to take on GSP at UFC 137 but the UFC pulled the former Strikeforce and Elite XC champ from the fight after he failed to appear for several media obligations. Then the fight was set up for a second time, at UFC 143, but GSP suffered a knee injury that forced him to withdraw.

Despite the fact Diaz is coming off a loss and hasn’t competed since last February many are calling for him to be GSP’s next opponent and challenge for the welterweight title. Gracie added that even a middleweight title shot in his next bout would not be out of the question for his fighter.

“This is a weird game. It’s up to the fans, really. I really believe it. Things change, rules change. You can’t come off a loss and get a title fight, blah, blah, blah. And then all of a sudden you see Chael Sonnen, not only coming off a loss which wasn’t controversial, like Nick’s was pretty damn controversial. I think most people think he actually won that fight. The champions did. Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, all of these other people, the old-school guys, the new-school guys thought that Nick won that fight and they’ve told me that.

“But look, Chael Sonnen gets knocked out and he gets to go up in weight and fight for a title, and be in The Ultimate Fighter house and everything. What if Dana White can’t make the GSP fight happen? Who knows? Fans demand Nick, and stuff happens all the time. You could see that fight happening. Don’t shut the door on things.”


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