UFC middleweight Michael Bisping recently spoke with a stringer from TMZ Sports about Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz, each of whom ‘The Count’ would be happy to fight.
“I don’t want to fight GSP, GSP wanted to fight me,” clarified Bisping. “He contacted the UFC. The UFC said to me, ‘Mike, would you take that fight?’ I’m like, ‘Listen, if he wants to come out of retirement and get his ass kicked, in his hometown, then, of course, I’ll oblige.’ GSP’s a big star, [so] yeah, no problem. No problem.
“Turns out he didn’t want to sign the deal. So he got everybody excited, for nothing. But if they change their minds, I’m still here, we’ve still got six weeks. I’ll fly to Toronto, and I’ll beat him in his own backyard.”
“I don’t know who is to blame. I have no idea. I just heard they couldn’t get a deal done. I don’t know any specifics.”
The Count was asked how he could sweeten the pot.
“I’ll fight him with one arm,” offered Bisping. “One arm. One arm. I’ll still get the job done.”
Then Bisping was asked about a fight with Nick Diaz.
“They spoke about UFC 206, and I like the idea of fighting on that card,” said Bisping. “All the other top middleweights, they have fights booked right now, so they’re busy. Who else is there?
“Diaz fights at 185, his last fight was against Anderson [Silva] at 185. So if Diaz is free and wants to fight at UFC 206, let’s do it. I’m in.”
Bisping was then asked if he thought he could take Diaz.
“Cmmmoooonnnn,” replied The Count. “‘[Do] you think I could take Diaz?’ What do you think? What do you think?
“I’ve got no message for Nick. I’ve got nothing against Nick. But if he wants to fight, let’s make some money. You want to fight, Nick, I’m here, he’s here, nothing against Nick, but if he wants to fight, let’s do it. Bring the heat, make some money.”
“I’d take Nick out pretty easy. He’s a tough guy. He’s a tough guy. But, you know, Nick knows what’s up.”
Bisping is correct that the top contenders are all fighting each other with an eye towards a title shot. #2 Chris Weidman fights #4 Yoel Romero at UFC 205 on November 12, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Then #3 Jacare Souza fights #1 Luke Rockhold at UFC Fight Night 101 on Nov. 26, 2016, in Melbourne, Australia.
Whoever wins most compellingly is likely to get a title shot, but won’t be ready in time for UFC 206 on December 10, 2016, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Further, UFC 206 needs a boost to not get lost between the greatest card in MMA history at UFC 205, and the return of Ronda Rousey at UFC 207.
The UFC 206 headliner rematch between light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson is eclipsed to some extent by the absence of interim champion Jon Jones, who is out for an indeterminate period of time after failing an anti-doping test. A fight between Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping would be exactly what 206 to make it three must-see PPVs in a row.
However, Nick Diaz has not won a fight since 2011. He lost to Carlos Condit via unanimous decision for the interim UFC welterweight championship in 2012. Then he lost to GSP via unanimous decision for the UFC welterweight championship in 2013. Then he lost via a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva in January of 2015 that was overturned when Silva failed a PED test. Diaz also was suspended after the Nevada Athletic Commission irresponsibly misunderstood a test for marijuana, and has only recently been eligible to fight.
In sport, Nick Diaz is an unlikely candidate for a title shot. But … the new ownership of the UFC needs to make a return on their four billion dollar purchase and a central portion of that effort is 13 solid PPVs per year. Bisping vs. Diaz is solid.