Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.
For months we heard about how badly UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre wanted to fight Nick Diaz. Diaz had been "disrespectful" and Dana White was very quick to talk to anyone who would listen about GSP's desire to hurt Diaz and how he'd "never seen" the champ act so angry. The push was there for St. Pierre vs. Diaz when it was going to be a title fight and the push remained strong even during the build up to Diaz vs. Carlos Condit. Everyone was ready for the Diaz/GSP rivalry to go full force after Diaz won ther interim belt, but it wasn't to happen.
Following his mildly controversial unanimous decision loss to Condit, Diaz claimed he was going to retire from the sport. While many didn't believe that it was more than an upset fighter speaking "in the moment," the subsequent positive drug test for Diaz may have pushed it closer to being a reality. GSP went on Bruce Buffer's "It's Time" radio show on Sherdog to say that he hopes Diaz sticks around:
"As far as Diaz, of course I would like to fight him because he thinks he's better than me...I think I'm better than him. But I think he should not retire. He did all of the sacrifice in his life to be where he's at right now. He's at the highest point of his career, and if he retires now, he's left a lot of money on the table that could pay for all of the sacrifices he has made during all those years. I think the sport of mixed martial arts needs a guy like him."
GSP also said that he may "dislike" Nick, but also appreciates the way that Diaz motivated him to train harder and be better. St. Pierre is more motivated by the sporting aspects of MMA than a desire to beat up those he feels have wronged him. That is why it was always going to be hard for me to believe that GSP was motivated by pure hatred of Diaz or anything of that nature.
Does Nick provide some fuel for Georges to want to be better? Certainly. But was/is that likely to ever possess him to operate outside of his style and win first attitude? I seriously doubt it.