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Nick Diaz to vacate Strikeforce title for UFC bout

Nick Diaz carries his belt after beating K.J.

Nick Diaz carries his belt after beating K.J. Noons in a Strikeforce welterweight championship match in San Jose, Calif. Diaz won by unanimous decision to retain his title. (Oct. 9, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

Last week, UFC president Dana White made it official: Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz will fight UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 137 in October.

Thursday, after the UFC 131 press conference, White expanded on the topic. Diaz will now vacate the Strikeforce title in order to fight GSP in the UFC. Two as-yet-unnamed fighters will battle for the now-vacant Strikeforce title.

The bout is a fascinating one to analyze. Diaz has arguably the best boxing skills of any mixed martial artist. GSP, who has worked with famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach in the past, showed improved boxing in his last two bouts, including a devastating left jab that single-handedly beat Josh Koscheck last December.

Diaz has superb jiu-jitsu and is a submission specialist. GSP has the best takedowns and takedown defense in all of mixed martial arts.

See, fascinating.

Equally of note here are the implications of this bout. Diaz is the first major Strikeforce fighter to cross over to UFC after Zuffa's purchase of the smaller promotion. Diaz now has a UFC contract, White said.

Before this move, we always heard White say that UFC and Strikeforce are two different companies. Now, we're not so sure.

 

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