UFC 158: ST. Pierre Versus Diaz Preview
The hype machine behind the UFC 158 main event fight between Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz for the UFC Welterweight Championship is done chugging. Well almost over. These two fighters can’t even be on a conference call with each other without exploding. Therefore, I expect we see a bit more pre-fight drama between these two during the weigh-ins today.
None-the-less, Arguably the biggest fight of the year thus far will take place tomorrow (Saturday, March 16 10 p.m. ET). There will be no more steroid accusations, making fun of each others’ accents or trash talk on Saturday night when these two enemies finally step into the octagon with one another.
If we are being honest, the hype for this match started over a year ago. At UFC 137, Diaz defeated legendary fighter BJ Penn. After the fight he called out the Welterweight Champion.
“I don’t think Georges is hurt. I think he’s scared. I think he’s scared to fight everyone right now.”
After that callout, GSP, who was still recovering from knee surgery, has been insistent on taking on Diaz. However, Diaz would later drop a fight to Carlos Condit in an Interim-Welterweight Championship match. Condit would get the fight against GSP, a fight GSP would win, while Diaz would get a one year suspension for testing positive for marijuana after the match. A year and a half later, one of the longest hyped fights in UFC history is now happening.
Diaz will be fighting with a chip on his shoulder as everyone knows that this fight was set up for entertainment value over who actually deserves a title shot. Diaz can insist he deserves his spot all he wants, but he has not won a fight since 2011 and lost his last fight. Diaz will be in the cage to prove he belongs. If he does not belong GSP will be getting some satisfying vengeance on Diaz for all his trash talk.
Diaz likes to control the temp of fights. If he is on his feet he will bait GSP into swinging and will retaliate and get the better of GSP. He also likes to shove opponents against the fence and wear them down with body punches.
Taking Diaz to the ground also may not be wise. While Diaz is not known for his tremendous wrestling ability, he does have the ability to submit fighters off his back unlike any other fighter in the UFC.
GSP is also a fighter that likes to dictate the pace of fights. He may get his way here and he is simply stronger than Diaz. GSP’s best strategy will be his ground and pound game where he can win the fight by stoppage or win by decision by a combination of take downs and strikes from above while Diazi is grounded.
GSP is favored with a money line of -500. Diaz’s money line is at +350.