Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 158 fight card primer, previewing all the action at UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz. Here, we look at the main event: Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz.
Finally, this fight is upon us. The main event at UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz sees UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (23-2 MMA; 17-2 UFC) finally face former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz (26-8(1) MMA; 7-5 UFC). This five round fight will be for GSP's UFC Welterweight title. The UFC 158 PPV airs this Saturday night, March 16, with the main card beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
The backstory for this fight has become epic and spans over two years. In 2011, after a series of GSP decision wins, fans began clamoring for a more high octane opponent to challenge him. Enter the red hot Strikforce champion Nick Diaz. The two were set to fight at UFC 137, only for the fight to fall through, first due to Diaz being pulled from the main event, then due to GSP injury. Since then, they've both spent considerable time on the shelf - GSP due to that injury, Diaz due to a "retirement" and suspension for a positive marijuana test. The animosity has only built in these years, and that should make for a volatile fight.
How do these two stack up?
St. Pierre: 31 years old | 5'10" | 76" reach
Diaz: 29 years old | 6'0" | 76" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Georges St. Pierre comes in as the most decorated fighter in UFC Welterweight history. He's now made an incredible 7 defenses of his belt, completely running over everyone in the division. His last loss was 6 years ago, and now seems like a distant memory. He did spend a lot of time on the shelf in 2011/2012, but came back last fall to defeat a game Carlos Condit. Condit pushed GSP more than he's been pushed in ages - a sign of GSP slowing down, or just ring rust that needed to be shaken off? We'll see tonight.
Nick Diaz made a strong case for his title shot in 2011. After leaving the UFC in 2006 he went on a pretty incredible run through EliteXC, Strikeforce, and Dream, putting together a 10 fight win streak before coming back to the UFC. Once he returned, he promptly took out B.J. Penn to earn his spot at the top of the UFC 170 pound ranks. But since that 2011 win, things have not gone well. He lost to Condit, announced his retirement, tested positive for marijuana and was suspended, and is now on thin ice with Dana White after more of his antics. He's an incredibly talented fighter, but as of late, it seems like his unwillingness to be a responsible fighter has overshadowed his in-ring skill. He's in the rare position of both fighting for his title, and potentially fighting for his job here.
Why should you care?
Are you kidding me? One of the top 3 fighters in the world right now vs. the brash rival that's been chasing him for 2 years - what more could you possibly want?