The UFC 158 main event between welterweight champion and Canada’s own Georges St-Pierre vs. challenger and Stockton bad boy Nick Diaz was a highly anticipated scrap between two of the world’s best at 170-pounds. While the two fighters were in the locker rooms warming up, the Diaz camp was unhappy with the way St-Pierre’s hands were wrapped so the commission was called to the back to oversee everything.
This was just the latest wrinkle of drama heading into the main event.
St-Pierre was an overwhelming favorite heading in to the night, but there was some concern that Diaz’s pre-fight antics could have gotten inside of the champions head and forced him to stray from his gameplan. When the two were face-to-face in the octagon, did the mind games matter and did the fight live up to the hype? It’s time to find out.
As many would expect, St-Pierre immediately went towards his strength and shot for the takedown putting Diaz on his back. While in Diaz’s guard, GSP was creating distance and delivering some ground-and-pound before Diaz rolled to create a better position. St-Pierre had Diaz’s back, but Diaz was able to recapture guard. St-Pierre would not stay still and continued to work and deliver sharp elbows to the head of Diaz.
The first-round was all St-Pierre as he used his wrestling to dominate his opponent and control where the fight took place. Diaz was visually frustrated after the bell and lunged at GSP before Yves Lavigned stepped in between the two.
Round two was much of the same with St-Pierre’s effortless takedowns being the story of the fight. As GSP continued to wear on Diaz, the frustration began to mount and Diaz began his taunting in the cage.
After a few exchanges, St-Pierre was able to get Diaz to the ground, but Diaz was more active than ever and got the fight back to his feet. St-Pierre’s takedowns began to be less effective as the third-round went on and he began to find his grove on the feet. Diaz began to press forward, but St-Pierre was still landing the bigger shots. Diaz was comfortable on the feet, but wasn’t doing enough to generate any offense.
When Diaz landed a few solid strikes, GSP began to look at the clock and appeared to be wobbled by a few of the strikes, but he scored a takedown to finish the fight. After the third round, Diaz was warned for singing at St-Pierre after the bell and Yves Lavigne threatened to disqualify him if it happened again.
In the championship rounds, Diaz began to stop the takedowns as GSP began to slow down. Unfortunately, Diaz was walking around the cage with his hands down and wasn’t doing anything to score points. If he was able to keep the fight standing, he could have had a chance to score, but the time he wasted taunting was time that he set himself up for a takedown.
St-Pierre eventually secured the takedown with two minutes left in the round and grinded out the remainder of the round.
Entering the final frame, Diaz needed to go for broke and secure a finish if he wanted any chance of winning the welterweight title. Diaz did just that and came out with the aggression he needed, but the two fighters tied up against the cage and exchanged knees to the body. The final round stayed on the feet until Diaz went for a head kick and slipped.
St-Pierre took the opportunity and jumped on top of Diaz. After an awkward scramble, Diaz got back to his feet and had 90 seconds remaining to do the job, but St-Pierre shot for a takedown and was able to put Diaz on his back for the final 45 seconds of the fight and threw down his most impressive offensive output of the fight.
The difference in this fight was St-Pierre’s wrestling and Diaz’s inability to stuff the takedowns.
All three judges scored the bout 50-45 for the champ.