Following in the footsteps of friend and training partner Jake Shields, welterweight Nick Diaz has opted to relinquish his Strikeforce title for a crack at the belt possessed by UFC divisional king Georges St. Pierre.
UFC President Dana White erased lingering speculation on how Diaz’s championship would be handled this week at a press conference related to UFC 131 where he also explained a new Strikeforce champion would be crowned at some point in the near future.
While no specifics were given in terms of potential contenders, one of the likely candidates will almost certainly be undefeated grappler Tyron Woodley. The former All-American wrestler has gone 8-0 since turning to Mixed Martial Arts including six straight victories in Strikeforce. His last in-ring appearance came this past January at Strikeforce Challengers 13 where he notched a Unanimous Decision over Tarec Saffiedine.
Diaz’s run as Strikeforce champion lasted nearly eighteen months and included successful defenses against K.J. Noons, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, and most recently Paul Daley. He is set to face St. Pierre on October 29 in Las Vegas at UFC 137.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/SHOSPORTS