This past Saturday night saw the much anticipated fight between Nick Diaz and Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158. As many expected to be the case, St. Pierre dominated Diaz, and took all five rounds on the scorecards for an impressive 50-45 victory.
That wasn't the end of the fireworks, though. Diaz, true to his bad boy reputation, has gone on to announce that he doesn't pay taxes, had a brush with the law, and managed to have a backstage scuffle with BJJ ace, Braulio Estima. Not to be outdone, Kron Gracie, who participated in Nick's camp for this fight, also offered up some verbal abuse for Estima.
I had the opportunity to speak with Braulio, to get his thoughts on the incidents. He also addressed the rumors of a spy inside the Diaz camp and when he sees himself returning to MMA again. Here's what he had to say:
SD: In your interview earlier today with Ariel Helwani, you stated that the scuffle with Nick Diaz wasn't that big a deal to you, because emotions were running high and it was kind of blown out of proportion. You also had a verbal exchange with Kron Gracie. Which incident bothered you more?
BE: Kron was definitely the one that upset me the most because of the relationship that we had. What I think, and this is just my personal opinion, is that he's very easily manipulated. Before this, I never had a problem with him. We had always been friends and hung around with each other. We have trained at my academy together, at one point before the ADCC. We've hung out and had fun at the Rickson Cup in Japan. We've always been on good terms. Even when he competed against my brother, we were still friends.
Everything was fine up until Saturday, and I'm sure his behavior has to do with the influence of Nick and Nate Diaz. Maybe they still don't like me because of the BJJ match Nick and me were supposed to have, but I don't keep thinking about that. I just think about what's coming next in my life.
Nick Diaz, that was the first time I had actually met him face to face. He's not my friend, and if he doesn't like me, that's his problem. I can't control that. He can react the way that he wants. As you know, his manners are not that good, so I didn't expect much good will from him anyway. I just wanted to extend my hand to him in the spirit of good sportsmanship and respect. He pushed me aside, which bothered me a little bit, and I thought, 'Why did I even step forward to offer my hand in the first place?', but then I realized that it's not my fault that he reacted that way. I did what I was supposed to, by offering him my respect.
When he pushed me aside, I just thought to myself, 'That's a shame', and got a little bit embarrassed for that moment, but I had to hold myself in the moment, because it makes no sense to react to something like that. I just immediately calmed myself down, because I didn't want to mess up the moment for everybody on Georges' team. I didn't want to take anything away from that happy event.
If there had been any reaction, things would go bad very quickly. The next day, the news wouldn't be about the great performance of GSP, but instead, about the mess that could have happened.
SD: Was it fairly easy to scout Nick Diaz' style to help Georges prepare for this fight?
BE: Well, the way that we train is based very much in concept. That's the way that I like to teach, and John Danaher does, too. I came here for two weeks to help out, and the three of us, myself, John and Firas talked through strategies. I had been here before to help Georges with Condit, as well.
The way that we like to train is solely based on concept, so it doesn't matter who you fight, because you still maintain the control, and can deal with the unexpected. That's why I was so proud of this fight. There were situations that we trained for that were about hip control, therefore there were no kneebars or locks, even though they were attempted by Diaz. It doesn't matter who you fight if you focus on the concepts.
SD: Diaz' camp insinuated that there might have been a spy in camp, telling St. Pierre's trainers what he was specifically training for. What are your thoughts on that?
BE: It's unbelievable, isn't it? We don't have the time to be looking into other people's camps. There's too many things involved in our training. There's too many things to focus on in a day to be worried about things like, 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to find out what's going on over there', and this and that. That's too much and it's crazy to think that's what's happening, because it's not.
The way we train is not for one specific situation. We train where no matter what situation you're in, you can defeat it. He was able to block those kneebars because we trained the concept of holding the guys hips and controlling them. It doesn't matter what the guy does, he wouldn't be ale to succeed with anything.
SD: Did you pick up any wrestling tricks that you can incorporate into your own style while you were out there?
BE: Yes I did. I do it every time I'm at someone's camp. I'm very open minded. I'm constantly open for new things and for new information to adapt to my game. Every camp that I'm at, we always share a lot techniques. Everything I learn, I put it into my box, into my hard drive, and when I get home, I drill it. That's how it's been since I first started.
SD: When do you think you'll make time for your next MMA fight?
BE: I've got some proposals to compete in several BJJ main events. 2013 is an ADCC year for me, so I want to focus on that. I have in my mind that I want to hold the record for longest superfight champion title holder. If I win this one, it will be my second one, and will put me closer to my goal.
My next match will be against Xande Ribiero on May 5th in Brazil. After that I'll be in California in June for one of the superfights there, and then the ADCC in October. Those are the things I'm focusing on, and after that, I will focus more on MMA. Maybe sometime in November or December would realistically be a good time for me.
You can follow Braulio via his Twitter account, @BraulioEstima