UFC has confirmed that welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will defend his title against Nick Diaz at UFC 158 in March.
A number of opponents, including Johny Hendricks and Anderson Silva, were considered for the chance to fight for the belt. However, in an interview with MMA Junkie this weekend, St. Pierre stated that he firmly believes Nick Diaz is the rightful number one contender, and this is the fight that fans want to see.
“This fight has been waiting to happen for a long time. It’s the big fight. That’s what people want to see. Everybody wants to fight me now. It’s crazy,” St. Pierre said, addressing possible criticism of the fight choice. “I cannot split myself in half. If I would have not done that, I would do another fight, and fans would have complained. If I fight another guy, they both would have complained. What do you want me to do? I cannot split myself in different pieces and fight guys all at the same time.”
Johny Hendricks has previously said that he deserves to be the next contender for the welterweight title, but now he’ll have to wait behind Diaz.
“I do feel bad for Johny Hendricks, but put yourself in my shoes,” said St. Pierre. “[Diaz] is a big fight. For me, right now, it’s the fight that makes the most sense. If I fight Anderson Silva, I have to go up in weight. It will take me time. I cannot fight Anderson in March.
“It’s a big fight that people want to see me in. So I want to make this fight happen for myself, for the fans and for the UFC,” he added.
St. Pierre and Diaz will headline the UFC 158 pay-per-view on March 16 in the Bell Centre, Montreal.