GSP's trainer ZAHABI thinks Diaz is #1 Contender
Firas ZAHABI, the head trainer at Tri-star, thinks Nick Diaz is the true #1 at 170 lbs,
The fans would pay and want to see this fight..despite the belief that Hendricks is the #1 contender after wins over Fitch, a narrow split decision over Koscheck and the expected win over Kampann.
Hendricks looked great at Ufc 154, not many people picked Kampmann to win (even if they wanted him too)
"Tristar head trainer Firas Zahabi on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Georges St-Pierre dropped by his gym this past week to wish teammates well and get in a quick workout.
A conversation with the UFC welterweight champ about his future has yet to take place.
Zahabi, however, said that if St-Pierre decides for now to stay in his native division, he believes Nick Diaz should be considered the No. 1 contender.
Johny Hendricks is also deserving of a title shot, he said, but lacks the resume to be the next challenger.
"I think Diaz is the guy who deserves it most," Zahabi said. "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. Johny deserves it very much, but Diaz has been there longer and done more fights and has bigger wins.
"If you want to be really fair about it, he is the guy who beat the most amount of names in the biggest fights."
Diaz (26-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC), a former Strikeforce champion, lost a unanimous decision to Condit at UFC 143, after which he tested positive for marijuana metabolites. The Nevada State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the bout, suspended him until Feb. 4, 2013.
The outspoken 29-year-old fighter is currently challenging his punishment in court.
According to UFC President Dana White, Hendricks (14-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) earned a No. 1 contender position following a first-round knockout of Martin Kampmann at UFC 154 earlier this month. However, White said St-Pierre (23-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) is still vacationing following a triumphant decision over Condit in the main event of the Nov. 17 pay-per-view event and hasn't been approached about his next career move.
A superfight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) was a dominant topic of conversation following the fight, which took place at Montreal's Bell Centre. St-Pierre, who returned from a 19-month injury layoff, said he would take time off and then have a conversation with his team and family members.
Zahabi anticipates a career conversation with the champ following next Saturday's UFC on FOX 5, where the champ is scheduled to corner Rory MacDonald in the Tristar fighter's meeting with B.J. Penn.
The trainer has suggested Silva should drop to welterweight if the superfight is made, but he reiterated his opinion that St-Pierre would likely move up permanently in weight if a catchweight or middleweight bout is made.
"There will be plenty of time to discuss it," Zahabi said. "Everybody wants to know, and that's normal. But at the end of the day, he needs to enjoy himself. I'm sure we'll all get on the phone sooner or later."
Whatever St-Pierre's decision, Zahabi said the champ has options at welterweight.
"After he beat B.J., people were like, 'The division has been cleared out,'" he said. "But then it always seems to be the same thing. Some other guy gets a big win, and the division is not cleaned out. You just saw the same thing. Hendricks got a big win, and it's like there's still Hendricks on the table and still Diaz on the table. (Jon) Fitch just beat Erick Silva, so that name is back in the mix."
None of those options, however, carries the emotional charge of Diaz, whose callout following his victory Penn at UFC 137 reportedly sent St-Pierre into a rage. The two previously had been scheduled to fight at that event, but Diaz was yanked by the UFC for no-showing press obligations. St-Pierre, however, successfully lobbied for a meeting at UFC 143, which was scratched when he injured his ACL and Condit replaced him.
Prior to his return, St-Pierre said he has a "professional hatred" of Diaz.
For more on the UFC's upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site."
Ufc Events Attended:
Ufc Fight Night: Davis Vs Nogueira, Ufc 131, Ufc 143, Ufc 148, Ufc on Fox 5, Ufc 156, Ufc on Fox 8
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