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Nick Diaz vacates Strikeforce title, new champ to be crowned

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

13 COMMENTS
  • MickeyC says:

    OOOOOO Snap! I guess the rumor that SF and UFC fighters may cross back and forth may have been a rumor after all. I guess SF does not have the fighters to have a champ be away for 6 months preparing anf recovering from a fight.

  • Dufresne says:

    This doesn’t bode well for SF in general. Diaz is their best known fighter not named Fedor and losing him is gonna hurt their future cards. I’m not saying SF is circling the drain, but it certainly looks like they’re headed that way and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see the UFC yank the plug the moment SF’s contract with showtime runs out.

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Good for diaz he gets to be ufc again. diaz and jason miller would have been better coaches for tuf stiill want to see them fight.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I think this is kind of bad for Diaz as he truly earned that title and to drop it without losing- even though he gets a great shot at GSP- must be a little bittersweet and makes SF look 3rd rate at best. Diaz fought some tough guys to get that title and deserves to be acknoldeged as the champ in my opinion untile he loses.

  • elsicilian says:

    I agree … Strikeforce WW title is now officially meaningless. Kind of like the Intercontinental Championship in the old WWF

  • Angry Mike says:

    I don’t understand why he’d have to leave Strikeforce or vacate its title to fight GSP. The only reason I can think of is that Zuffa intends to collapse Strikeforce the way it did with WEC. But if that’s the case, why bother to buy Strikeforce in the first place? Coker said his partners wanted out, and it’s doubtful whether anybody other than Zuffa would want it. And even if sombebody other than Zuffa wanted it and could afford it, how long would it have lasted? Seems to me that if Zuffa intended to collapse Strikeforce, they didn’t need to buy it. Zuffa could’ve declined to buy Strikeforce, let it die a slow death and picked up any desireable fighters one at a time.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Well I cant really see SF staying alive if it loses its best fighters to the UFC in “superfights”. The good thing is that the fights are happening, or at least 1 is. It remains to be seen if the SF heavy weights such as Fedor, Big Foot, Kharitonov, Rogers, Werdum, Cormier and Overeem get a crack at the UFC HWs. I can see at least 25 fighters in SF that may be able to make waves in the UFC and all I’ve ever wanted is for them to be able to compete with each other. Make it happen. Keep this up please.
    Gp winner vs the UFC champ would be awesome. I think all the SF champs vs the UFC champs would be very competitive and I would be favouring SF in 2 of the unification bouts.

  • MCM says:

    In future news:
    – Gilbert Melendez vacates his belt to fight for the UFC LW championship after Jim Miller looses his shot after getting out pointed by Ben Henderson.
    – Strikeforce offers LW belt to K.J. Noons by default.

    Seriously. Is anyone shocked by this announcement? Diaz has been bitching about competition (and everything else) since he won the belt. Gilbert has been complaining lately too, so I expect to hear that he’s gone over by the end of July at the latest.

  • Dufresne says:

    Overeem has already said that he plans on fighting the UFC champ if he wins the tourney. If he jumps ship I expect it to sink completely..

  • TerribleT says:

    This is nothing new. . . . . .the best fighters in the world almost always end up in the UFC sooner or later. Fedor is one of the few that didn’t and in the long run he’s going to lose one hell of a lot of money for not signing on. He turned down a 6 fight deal for $30 million plus an immediate fight with then champion Brock Lesnar . Then he turned down their final offer of a 3 fight deal for about $2 million for each fight. He didn’t even make a fraction of what he could have made in the UFC. Nobody gets those kind of paydays in MMA but he could have. . . . . . but not now !

  • elkymbo says:

    Sounds good to me. If strikeforce dies so be it. It was second rate at best and as much as I’d like to part ways with my hard earned for the heavyweight tourney next week if I hear Ranalo’s voice one more time I think I’ll put a drill in my ears and turn the bastard on.

  • Rece Rock says:

    It’s in nicks new contract that he can fight on showtime SF cards if the opportunity arises…they are making him vacate the belt because more then likely he won’t be going back to SF and if he held onto the strap and loses to GSP the belt is worthless… This isn’t a bad sign for SF, i geel like ZUFFA is just making moves to instill the farm league concept…the top tier guys in sf can crossover to ufc at anytime and may or may not stay in SF but vacating the belts will provide mini tourneys to crown new champs and keep things interesting in SF

  • Dufresne says:

    If the UFC doesn’t completely swallow SF I really hope they keep the Challenger series going. It’s a perfect way for young guys to get exposure without having to be part of the increasingly stupid TUF reality show.

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