Diaz Camp Wants 5 Round Fight: Brilliant!
Let’s say you’re advising Nick Diaz and what has happened, well, happened. What now? How do you leverage your position as sole headliner to your best advantage? What do you do? Exactly what they’re doing.
Pushing for a 5-round Main Event between Nick Diaz and BJ Penn.
Why is this so important to the Diaz camp? Here’s just the top three reasons why I think they’re doing this:
1. More credible exposure.
There’s more interest in MMA right now than in any point in recent memory. The UFC deal with Fox (and the many promos Fox is running during it’s sporting coverage) as well as the rise of several explosive champions has lots of people buzzing, and if the fight were to go five rounds, that’s 25 minutes of Nick Diaz on TV, in the cage. He can erase any negative exposure he’s had from his press conference antics and show the world (on the biggest stage he’s ever been on) who he really is.
2. How’s Penn’s cardio these days? Nick’s is great.
Nick Diaz has cardio for days. BJ Penn doesn’t seem that motivated to fight. Diaz wants to take Penn out into the deep water and he’s gotta feel he’s going to be in much better shape in the later rounds than BJ. A five-rounder also reduces the chance that Penn does well in any one particular round and swings a decision. Not that I think this bout goes even three rounds, let alone five…
3. It gets into Penn’s head.
First, Penn was training for a three-round fight with Carlos Condit. Then, he’s training for a three-rounder with Nick Diaz. Now, five rounds?!? Penn’s a professional, and he’ll come to fight, but all of this change, especially now at the last minute, has to mess with his head. Can he go for five rounds at Nick Diaz’ pace? It’s too late to make the kind of adjustments necessary to get the body ready, if he’s not already there yet…
Pushing for five rounds is a total win-win for Diaz.
Oh, one more thing:
4. It diminishes the chance that Condit gets back on the card.
With Carlos Condit originally scheduled for a five-rounder against GSP, and the now-slight possibility of Zuffa finding a good match for Condit (Brenneman found out the day before that he would fight Rick Story, so in my mind that window is never completely closed…) it just about ensures that Condit won’t be on the card because the card won’t support two five-round non-championship fights. Although Condit could easily fight a three-rounder, if he’s on the card, given his previous Main Event status, it would seem like he should get the five-rounder if anyone does. So locking it up ensures Diaz remains the Main Event.
Which is right where his camp wants him to be.