And just like that the welterweight GSP causes a stir in the MMA world as the rumors and speculations of his return continue to solidify. At first fans were speculating that the former UFC champion had plans to come back and take a big money fight against current MMA star and champion Conor McGregor, but that didn’t seem to pan out in the long run as 170 lbs seemed a bit more difficult than first thoughT for the brash Irishman. Conor McGregor recently took on Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in las vegas after Rafael Dos Anjos dropped out of their scheduled super fight due to a foot injury and Diaz stepping in on 10 days noticed as a late replacement. A lot of fans and others watched as McGregor slowly started to fade at the beginning of the second round of their fight as Diaz started to pressure and pick at McGregor which eventually led to Diaz getting the RNC and the win. With McGregor heading back to featherweight to rethink his plans and most likely get back into the win column to get some of his leverage and star power back on the fight side of things, he might not have seemed as an ‘impressive’ opponent for the likes of GSP and team.
GSP and company were more impressed with Diaz and his win and more than hinted at wanting to fight when they specifically asked Diaz for a fight on twitter:
With GSP and team asking for a fight against Nate Diaz, it’s most likely the big money fight card would be UFC 200 on July 9th. And let’s be clear, with the PPV numbers GSP used to pull in and can currently pull in there would be no way that Dana White and company will or can deny the former champion a fight if he wanted one. With GSP being one of the top PPV draws the UFC ever had and him stepping away the gap was definitely felt for a while until it was filled by Ronda Rousey. With the extra added star power of Nate Diaz beating Conor McGregor at UFC 196, a fight between the two would be enough to fill the co-main event or even main event spot if there was not a champion vs champion fight in the top billing. But even then it would have to be one of a dominant champion fighting another dominant champion and not even the current UFC superstar Conor McGregor fills that slot. But it’s more than speculated that McGregor will be on the UFC 200 card already as Dana White has confirmed that he can and will be on the card with his statement:
“He wants to fight again as soon as possible. He wants to jump back in there, and he wants to fight again. We’re working on who the next opponent will be,” “In this business, it has to burn. It has to be a desire inside you to fight. Conor McGregor is a perfect example. This guy’s going to turn around and fight on [UFC ] 200 again,” White said.
So there’s always a likely chance that GSP can still fight McGregor at UFC 200, but it’s a less likely chance as McGregor and team have stated they are heading back to 145 for the time being. With Nate Diaz tired of waiting around at lightweight for fighters like Pettis and Alvarez who he says are fighters who are scared to fight him he was on his way up to the welterweight division before the McGregor fight. With the backstory of the history between GSP and his brother Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz doesn’t have anything to prove to step out of the shadow of his older brother, but a win over a former champion who beat his brother more than solidifies his own fighter status and leads to more of those big money fights both the Diaz brothers have been wanting for about the longest time. Now the only questions left are: Will Diaz accept the challenge and even if so will the UFC see this as their big money fight that will drive their PPV sales through the roof like they are expecting?