After welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre defeated Jake Shields at UFC 129 to post his sixth straight successful title defense, the immediate question that came to mind was “Who’s next’?
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta issued an inquiry tweet just moments after his company finished hosting the largest mixed martial arts show to ever hit North America.
“GSP vs [Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick] DIAZ? Or GSP vs. [Anderson] SILVA?” Feritta posted late Saturday night.
After eyeballing the responses from his 36,000+ followers on the blue-birded network, Fertitta revealed fans appear more interested in arranging a 170-pound title unification bout ahead of a mega-fight with the UFC middleweight king.
“Overwhelming response for GSP/DIAZ interesting. In NYC now working [on] what you all know,” he wrote Sunday night.
UFC president Dana White, on the other hand, reiterated the fact his company and Strikeforce are two completely separate business entities. While it’s clearly the most intriguing welterweight scrap available in MMA, White tried his best to stick to the “business as usual” mantra he’s been pushing since purchasing his rivals in March.
“I imagine I could do whatever I wanted to do if I really wanted to, but we have a contract with Showtime and [Diaz is] a Showtime fighter. I don’t know, we’re going to have to see how this whole thing works out. That’s an interesting fight,” White said at the UFC 129 post-fight presser.
“I can do what I want to do,” White repeated just minutes later.
Diaz inked a multi-fight contract extension with Strikeforce this past December, three months prior to Zuffa, LLC’s watershed acquisition.
“I was there live for “[Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley],” I was blown away by Nick Diaz’s last fight. He looked incredible,” White said of MMA’s other welterweight champ. “Interesting.”