We do like to support our own here at SB Nation Bay Area - we've taken it upon ourselves to cover all California-based fighters, including guys like Jake Shields, Cain Velasquez, Michael McDonald, Urijah Faber and, yes, Nick Diaz.
Few fighters in the sport of mixed martial arts can put on as exciting a fight as Diaz. Really, few fighters can put on as exciting a fight as either Diaz brother. Nate Diaz is set to challenge Ben Henderson for the Lightweight title at UFC on FOX 5: Henderson vs. Diaz on Dec. 8.
But his brother, Nick, already had a title shot lined up in the UFC. He was going to take on Georges St-Pierre, but he squandered his opportunity after making some bad decisions. Instead, he fought BJ Penn, while Carlos Condit earned a shot at the Welterweight Championship.
He beat BJ Penn handily, but then St-Pierre went down with an injury, Diaz fought Condit for the Interim title, and Diaz clearly lost. No, it was not a satisfying fight, nor was it overburdened with action and entertainment. But Diaz clearly lost, and Condit got the shot.
Meanwhile, Johny Hendricks fought a very close win over Josh Koscheck, a top five Welterweight, and then scored knockouts over Jon Fitch and Martin Kapmann. The latest was Kampmann - a brutal left that didn't have to go very far before putting Kampmann down and out. After that victory, all of the buzz was on Hendricks.
Few fights in the history of the UFC have staked their claim for a title shot the way Hendricks did. Three top five wins with two knockouts ... the guy had to get a shot, provided GSP didn't fight Middleweight Champion and potential pound-for-pound best Anderson Silva in a "superfight."
But GSP wants to fight Diaz, and since the UFC has been big on letting champions pick what they want (as opposed to giving them matchups in true sporting form), it looks like that's the fight we're going to get.
Now, don't get me wrong, GSP vs. Diaz is a great fight, but it's not the one that the UFC should be making. Let's take one more look at this, as clear as day.
Nick Diaz: Screw around with the media, no-show a press conference, lose shot at title, fight for Interim title, lose, get suspended for a year. Result: Title shot
Johny Hendricks: Do everything that's asked of you, beat three top five fighters, knockout two of them inside of one round. Result: Become an afterthought.
We're now at a point in the UFC where the first half of 2013 will feature events headlined by GSP fighting the guy who lost his last fight and is coming off a suspension for the Welterweight Championship, Jon Jones fighting a guy who lost his last fight at a lower weight class for the Light Heavyweight Championship, and Ronda Rousey defending her new title against Liz Carmouche, who has no place headlining a card.
Diaz/GSP will likely be a good fight, while Chael Sonnen getting elbowed into oblivion will probably be fun, and watching Rousey do her thing might be huge for women's MMA. But from a sporting standpoint, none of these matches make sense. At all.