Georges St-Pierre feels Nick Diaz had the potential to be a UFC champion.
Those who witnessed Diaz’s reign as the Strikeforce welterweight title holder certainly haven’t forgotten just how talented the Stockton native was. Diaz had three successful title defenses under the Strikeforce banner, including an epic battle with Paul Daley that ended with just three seconds left in the opening round.
After his Strikeforce runn, Diaz ended up returning to the UFC and went 1-2, 1 NC. That includes a unanimous decision loss to St-Pierre. Diaz hasn’t competed since Jan. 2015 and St-Pierre told Dave Noseworthy of FanSided that now fans are left to wonder what could have been.
“I think just it’s sad to see a guy like him waste his best years,” St-Pierre told FanSided. “I think he could have been champion, especially when Woodley was there. Stylistically it would of been a nightmare for a guy like Tyron Woodley.”
St-Pierre went on to say that perhaps there is still time for Diaz to make a comeback.
“He’s one of the best fighters that I fought,” said St-Pierre. “Who knows, maybe his best years are to come.”
Diaz was once thought of as the star of the Diaz Brothers. In recent times, Nate’s stock has soared thanks in part to his two bouts with Conor McGregor. Nate left no doubt that he doesn’t need a specific dance partner to feel larger than life as his return against Anthony Pettis helped break a live gate record for MMA events in the state of California.
As for St-Pierre, he announced his retirement from mixed martial arts competition earlier this year. “Rush” was trying to get a bout with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the UFC had other plans. St-Pierre has theorized that the UFC has invested in Nurmagomedov and that they may be protecting him.
Do you think Nick Diaz could’ve been a UFC champion had he stayed active? Is Georges St-Pierre on the money?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/10/2019.