Although Nick Diaz is no longer fighting for the UFC Welterweight Championship on October 29th, the former Strikeforce champ’s upcoming bout with decorated legend BJ Penn could still be the biggest of his career. While Diaz’s trainer Cesar Gracie concedes that his long time student was understandably disappointed about being removed from a title fight and a chance to defeat champion Georges St. Pierre, they’re keenly aware of what remains at stake at UFC 137.
“Nick was very upset about, I’ll be honest with you, I was devastated by it,” Gracie told FCF, while discussing Diaz’s removal from the title bout after missing two press conference appearances. “We worked so hard to get where we were, and I say we, because no fighter is by themselves. Nick has Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, Nate Diaz, Daniel Roberts, all those guys helping him…so when we heard about it everyone was upset about it.”
“Now in hindsight, with GSP being injured, Carlos Condit doesn’t have a fight,” Gracie added. “So what if Nick would have continued, then all of sudden GSP is injured, Nick isn’t fighting anymore. He is fighting on this card and he’s in the main event of this card now, and I think BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz should be the main event on any card to be honest with you.”
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