Despite Reports, Cesar Gracie “Not Pushing” For Fight Between Nick Diaz and Josh Koscheck, “Big Fights” With Anderson Silva and GSP Remain Primary Target
By Kelsey Mowatt
After Cesar Gracie recently made statements saying that a bout between his longtime student Nick Diaz and Josh Koscheck was a bigger and more likely fight than one with Demian Maia, it was viewed by many as a call for it to happen. While Gracie still stands by his original assessment, according to the renowned trainer, the Diaz camp has its sights set on other opponents.
“I’m really not pushing for that fight,” Gracie told Full Contact Fighter, while discussing the possibility of Diaz fighting Koscheck, which surfaced in a recent interview he did with Tatame. “The question asked to me was about Demian Maia, and they had asked me about Demia Maia calling Nick out, and Koscheck calling Nick out. I said we would take the Koscheck fight because Koscheck is more established at that weight in the United States.”
“I think that would be the bigger fight on the entertainment level; however, make no mistake about it, what we want is the big fights,” Gracie added. “And that would be like an Anderson Silva or GSP (Georges St. Pierre), those are the fights we’re ultimately going after.”
In terms of Diaz’s prospects at welterweight, UFC President Dana White stated recently that the former Strikeforce champ will have to fight one more time before he’s granted a title shot. St. Pierre is scheduled to defend his title against interim champion Carlos Condit on November 17th, the man who handed Diaz a tightly contested unanimous decision loss in February.
“I can only speculate what’s in Dana’s mind right now. If he wants Nick to fight someone else first then I would assume, it’s not just fight anyone first,” said Gracie about Diaz’s next bout, which can’t happen until the fighter’s suspension (due to a positive test for marijuana) ends in February. “Although Koscheck is a formidable opponent, I don’t think he’s in the top contenders list for the championship.”
“So I could see so many scenarios which could play out,” Gracie furthered. “Let’s say Rory MacDonald beats BJ Penn and beats him convincingly, maybe they’ll want Nick to fight him. I don’t know. I’m just speculating myself.”
When Gracie announced in July that Diaz was indeed planning to return to the sport, after the Stockton native said he was done fighting following his loss to Condit, the camp relayed that they would pursue a bout with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
“I have talked to Anderson Silva’s people and they’re very interested in a fight with Nick Diaz,” Gracie noted. “We’ve spoken and they would love that fight. We would love that fight and it would be a superfight.”
Although White shot down the proposed bout when the idea was first floated, Gracie still believes that the all-star match-up could materialize.
“Dana from day-to-day things change up a little bit,” said Gracie. “He said, quote, there’s nothing wrong with fun fights, there’s nothing wrong with superfights, and I know the fans would love an Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz fight.”
“Nick wants to fight people who come to fight him,” Gracie furthered about the 29 year-old welterweight, who scored a unanimous decision win over BJ Penn in his Octagon return last October. “That’s what he’s looking for…Nick has had some of the biggest fights in MMA history and he has a huge fan base, so we want the big fights for Nick Diaz.”