Volatile brawler Nick Diaz meets the heavy-handed Carlos Condit for the UFC’s interim welterweight title Saturday in a match that many mixed-martial arts fans expect to be one of the year’s finest.
But while the two fighters in this highly anticipated main event certainly deserve the attention, a shadow hovers over their shared spotlight — that of sidelined Canadian welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
The winner of the UFC 143 bout will face St-Pierre in his return match following reconstructive knee surgery late last year. And there’s no mistaking which fighter the longtime welterweight champion is hoping to meet.
“Every night I pray that Nick Diaz wins because that’s the fight I want,” St-Pierre told CBC during a recent phone interview from Los Angeles. “I’m going to fight the best man [either way], but I want it to be Nick Diaz.”
Diaz, the talented but mercurial former Strikeforce welterweight champ, was in line for a shot at St-Pierre’s title last October until he was a no-show at multiple press conferences, causing an irate UFC president Dana White to drop him as the No. 1 contender. White then promoted Condit, who is riding a solid four-fight winning streak, having knocked out opponents like Dan Hardy (who St-Pierre won a decision over but failed to finish) and Dong Hyun Kim. Continue Reading…