UFC 158 Picks: Welterweight Title Georges St-Pierre (-550) vs. Nick Diaz (+425)

Nick Diaz 2UFC 158 Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec Saturday, March 16, 2013 Welterweight Title Fight: Georges St-Pierre (-550) vs. Nick Diaz (+425) Fight Breakdown: The UFC welterweight title is on the line as champion Georges St-Pierre takes on his arch rival Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 158. This is one of the biggest fights of the year and the tension has boiled to a tipping point during fight week, so fans can expect nothing less than an amazing fight come Saturday night. The champion St-Pierre is currently a -550 favorite (bet $550 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, while the comeback on Diaz is +425 (bet $100 to win $425). St-Pierre (23-2) is the long-time UFC welterweight champion and is looking to make his eighth-consecutive title defence against Diaz. Arguably the best wrestler in mixed martial arts today and a terrific striker to boot, St-Pierre is the greatest welterweight to ever fight in the sport and is currently ranked as the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world today, behind just UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The winner of 10-straight fights, St-Pierre holds notable career victories over BJ Penn, Matt Hughes, Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck, Sean Sherk, Matt Serra, and Carlos Condit, who St-Pierre defeated in his last outing at UFC 154. The champion called out Diaz because of all the trash Diaz has talked for the last few years and he’ll look to teach him a lesson on Saturday night in the main event of one of the UFC’s blockbuster pay-per-view events. Diaz (26-8, 1 NC) is the ultimate bad boy of mixed martial arts. After losing a close decision to Condit at UFC 143, Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites and has been sitting out on the sidelines for the past year. He wasn’t next in line for a title shot — Johny Hendricks was — but because St-Pierre specifically requested the matchup with Diaz, UFC president Dana White made the fight, and it’s a good one. Diaz is one of the best boxers in the sport of MMA and has an incredible ground game, as he possesses a very dangerous submission arsenal off his back. Of his 26 victories, 13 have come by way of T/KO and eight have come via submission, which is an extremely high finishing rate for someone who has fought the level of competition he has. In his career Diaz holds notable victories over BJ Penn, Paul Daley, KJ Noons, Robbie Lawler and Gleison Tibau, but he has lost before and almost every single time it’s been because of his mediocre takedown defence. If Diaz can keep the fight with St-Pierre on the feet he can certainly win by knockout, but if he gets taken down and put on his back for five rounds he will definitely lose the fight. Fight Prediction: St-Pierre is going to win this fight, so the only question is how. While most people believe that St-Pierre is going to win a decision in this one, I honestly this he has the ability to finish Diaz in this one. What I think will happen is St-Pierre takes Diaz down and beats him up on the ground for the first couple rounds, then in the fourth or fifth round picks up the pace on a tired and beaten Diaz, gets a dominant position on the ground, and rains down blows until either the referee stops the fight or the cageside physician stops it due to cuts on Diaz’ head that were caused by St-Pierre’s vicious ground and pound attack. Adam’s Pick: Georges St-Pierre via TKO (click for latest UFC 158 odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: I really don’t see Diaz winning this fight so St-Pierre should be a safe parlay play, even at his high price tag of -550. As well, I would take a look at the “St-Pierre wins inside the distance” prop because I do think there’s a good possibility he stops Diaz with strikes (or, less likely, a submission) and you can get it for around +400.

Written by Adam Martin.

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