With UFC 158 on Saturday, One Last Look at St-Pierre and Diaz

Nick Diaz 3There is something about Nick Diaz — who challenges Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title this Saturday night in Montreal — that puts people on edge. You can see it at the press conferences and public appearances, when the tension in the body language tension of his opponents is evident. They are leery of what Diaz is capable of. His angst, anger and aggression are rare in MMA, especially at the highest level, so he is viewed as unpredictable. He has been on good behavior and more subdued in the build-up to this fight, aside from one missed public appearance and some issues with tapings for pre-fight programming. Several Bookmakers still have him as a +440 underdog with St-Pierre favored at -510. However, after watching the weigh ins, there is the thought that Diaz has done it again. He has gotten under his opponent’s skin, as St-Pierre has fired back throughout the week in a never before seen show of emotion. Could this give the underdog a shot? St-Pierre is known as a gentleman outside the ring, as his entire persona is of the respectful martial artist. Heck, if he were American, he would be billed as the apple pie eating type. St-Pierre has called Diaz uneducated and stupid, and he has stated he does not like him and wants to hurt him. Maybe it is because St-Pierre is not used to using this type of rhetoric, but he looks genuinely upset. Diaz has delivered some zingers during fight week. In his rants he has managed to call St-Pierre a good fighter, a pampered fighter, a steroid user and a number of other things. You can just see St-Pierre getting more and more indignant with each passing interaction. In typical Diaz fashion, he created a scene at the weigh ins, during the stare down. St-Pierre stood in the usual fighter pose, and Diaz came with full ‘mean face’ in effect, and sort of hooked St-Pierre’s arm. Dana White jumped in to separate the two, and Joe Regan hustled into the interviews. Diaz was cool as a cucumber, while St-Pierre had tension written all over him. Perhaps St-Pierre will channel the anger and emotion into putting a huge beat down on Diaz. As one of not only the best fighters, but one of the most tactical ones, on the planet, is he really going to do something we haven’t seen before? St-Pierre’s superiority and discipline have given him victory after victory over his opponents. Critics say he doesn’t finish, but he has fought five-round fights and given very few if any rounds away. Yet what if some of that discipline has been eroded by Diaz’ constant mental pressure? What if in the fight, he makes that critical mistake? If he chooses to stand and box with Diaz, the challenger may be able to steal some early rounds with his volume punching. St-Pierre does a good job protecting his chin, so a KO is unlikely, however St-Pierre’s chin is probably a weak point (remember the Serra fight). On the ground, St-Pierre is usually the winner of the position battle, but he doesn’t try many submissions and prefers to rely on his ground and pound. What if he tries a submission or risks position to deliver more heavy strikes? Diaz is certainly good enough at Jiu Jitsu to catch him if he makes a mistake. If you’re looking for a reason to bet the underdog in this fight, this is the last chance you’re going to get, but going into fight day, it looks like Nick Diaz is the one who is staying cool and it is St-Pierre who is worked up and volatile.

Written by Miguel

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UFC Betting Preview: UFC 158 Picks VLOG Part 2

UFC Betting Preview: UFC 158 Picks VLOG Part 3