Firas Zahabi considers Nick Diaz the #1 contender

Until recently, it seemed the only people who felt UFC welterweight Nick Diaz deserved a shot at champion Georges St-Pierre when he returns to the ring in a few months were members of his camp and the occasional fan or media member. However, Diaz recently received an endorsement from an unlikely individual in the form of GSP’s head trainer, Firas Zahabi.

According to the TriStar MMA chief, Diaz is the preferable option to Johny Hendricks if St-Pierre opts to continue his career as a 170-pounder instead of beefing up for a bout with pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva.

“I think Diaz is the guy who deserves it most,” explained Zahabi in an interview with MMAJunkie. “His fight with Carlos Condit was so close. Who knows? People judge it both ways.”

“(Diaz is) the guy who is the Strikeforce champion. He climbed up the ladder all the way,” he continued. “Johny deserves it very much, but Diaz has been there longer and done more fights and has bigger wins.”

Hendricks (14-1) has won five fights in a row including knockouts of Martin Kampmann and Jon Fitch but lacks the drawing power of the polarizing Diaz. Another factor possibly influencing the matter relates to St-Pierre’s personal dislike of the 26-8 Californian based on a handful of heated exchanges.

Though Zahabi still isn’t sure what St-Pierre’s next move will be, he did confirm the fan-favorite is expected to corner teammate Rory MacDonald next weekend at UFC on FOX 5, giving coach and competitor a chance to sit down and discuss what’s next. And, if it involves defending his welterweight belt, it sounds like Diaz may be the man standing opposite from St-Pierre in the Octagon come showtime.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

22 COMMENTS
  • MickeyC says:

    Not to mention the only thing GSP is more afraid of than Hendricks wrestling, is is KO power. He wants NONE of Johnny.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  • Sumoninja says:

    Let’s all agree than no one on an internet forum gets to call men who fight in a cage for a living “afraid”. Hendricks might be a tough matchup for St. Pierre, but so was Condit, and lots of other guys he’s dominated in the cage. So’s Nick.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • MickeyC says:

    I agree, but I remember an interview that GSP gave where he was asked if he would be willing to take a fight with Hendricks as well as a few other fighters if condit were to get injured. Johnny was the only one GSP was not willing to fight with out extensive notice. Sounds scared to me!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  • AlphaOmega says:

    So by that logic, Jones was scared of Chael?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • MickeyC says:

    Chael was a bit less deserving of a title shot thann Hendricks, wouldnt you say? But if you mean that they both would rather fight guys coming off losses than wins sure they are the same.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I’m meaning you saying GSP said he wanted a full camp for Hendricks implies he’s scared of GSP

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Oops, scared of Hendricks, I tried to stop the webpage from loading it..but wasn’t fast enough it still posted

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • MickeyC says:

    The fact that he was willing to fight the other guys on short notice but not Hendricks tells me he is worried. Past practices tell me he will avoid the fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • MickeyC says:

    Lets wait and see. But I would bet money he pushes other fights and does anything he can to avoid even saying hendricks name.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MickeyC says:

    Lets wait and see. But I would bet money he pushes other fights and does anything he can to avoid even saying hendricks name. And by past practices I mean of the fight game in general, not GSP. Dont get upset huggers.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I like the personal attacks against people who haven’t personally attacked you in this article..that’s nice.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Dammit, edit button please? There should be no s after the first attack.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • MickeyC says:

    Personal atttacks? is this not an opinonated forum? Are we not allowed to say what we think? I am not sure wher you sleep at night, but I live in a FREE country. You must be a fan.LOL

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Are you not capable of expressing your opinion without attacking other people for thinking different then you? If not then I’m just sorry for you. But you continue on if it brings you joy insulting other people on a MMA forum.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • MickeyC says:

    insulting who?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • MickeyC says:

    I’m afraid you have lost me. Who did I insult? GSP? HAHA. I’m sure he understands that when you put yourself in the limelight to expect some criticism. From Pewee Herman to the President, You make yourself famous expect criticism. Why would GSP be any different? Do you mean you? What did I say to you that hurt your feelings?LOL

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    This has nothing to do with fear. It’s no secret GSP has wanted to fight Diaz for quite a while now; there’s genuine animosity there and it’s the fight that Georges is most fired up about. On top of that, a Diaz matchup would certainly bring more $$ than a fight against Hendricks, and regardless of what anyone says money is always somewhat of a factor.

    But Hendricks is the obvious #1 contender and barring injury or some other unforeseen circumstances, Johny should be fighting GSP next.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Creature says:

    Why would GSP be scared of Hendricks? A guy with practically the same exact skillset as Koscheck (Who he dominated in every fashion twice) except with slightly less grappling skills and but more power. Nothing GSP hasnt already seen and dealt with already.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Creature says:

    Bit** I agree with the statement of needing an edit button lol

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Diaz vs hendricks sounds good.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Even as a huge Diaz fan, a fellow resident of the two OH Nine AND someone who usually thinks Faraz has turned one of the best fighters in the world into aoint fighter

    Ive gotta disagree. Diaz needs at least one impressive dominant finish of someone (Kos, Fitch, Condit, Ellenberger, MacDonald, Hendricks etc.) in order to be the next in line for a title shot.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • into a point fighter….damn it, I also have to get on the edit button bandwagon.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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