Contender Nick Diaz’s pre-fight jabber and steroid accusations directed toward defending champion Georges St-Pierre in the weeks leading up to UFC 158 certainly made the welterweight title fight one of the most hyped UFC main events in recent memory. Diaz even continued the trash talk in the octagon as the battle raged on into the fifth round, but after the final bell had rang, he ultimately failed to back it up.
Diaz threw verbal jabs, and St-Pierre threw physical ones, defeating Diaz by unanimous decision 50-45. He has now successful defended his title eight consecutive times, which is a UFC welterweight record. If he defends two more times, he will tie Anderson Silva’s record for most title defenses in any division.
Despite all of the insults and accusations that were hurled before the fight, St-Pierre and Diaz still managed an embrace after it, showing if anything, mutual respect.
“He did a great job promoting the fight. Nick Diaz is a good guy,” St-Pierre said, according to ESPN.com. “I didn’t want to fight at a boxing range because he’s the best boxer in mixed martial arts. His jiu-jitsu is amazing.”
In his normal style, St-Pierre took control of the match from the first bell and never let up. He took Diaz down in the first 10 seconds and proceeded to score at least one takedown in each round, including three takedowns in the opening minute of a round.
Diaz, known for more for his standing attacks and fierce punches, even got beat at his own game, as St-Pierre landed several stiff jabs, causing both of Diaz’s eyes to nearly swell shut. Then when Diaz finally landed some punches and took the offensive, St-Pierre scored another significant takedown to add to his edge heading into the fourth round.
“[The strategy] was to stay in a kickboxing range,” St-Pierre said. “Stay out of a boxing range and use my karate to get in and out. Also, [apply] my wrestling.”
It was a disappointing finish for Diaz, who credited St-Pierre, but also noted that his brief hiatus from the sport hurt him in the fight. For the second time in his career, the 29-year-old said this might be the end of the road for him in UFC.
“I don’t want to make excuses but I think I might have been flat from a year off,” Diaz said. “I want to thank Georges St-Pierre for giving me the credit I feel I deserve. I think I’m done. I’m tired of getting banged up.”
Although St-Pierre was expected to defend his title once again, it sure was another thrilling conclusion to another memorable UFC event.