St-Pierre dominates Diaz, retains UFC belt
MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre dominated both on the ground and on the feet en route to a unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 158 in Montreal (Sunday in Manila).
It was a dominant performance from St-Pierre, who engaged Diaz in vicious trash talk in the weeks leading up to the fight.
But inside the Octagon, St-Pierre kept his cool and easily took down Diaz to the ground, and won most of the striking exchanges as well.
All judges scored the bout 50-45 in favor of St-Pierre, who booked his 18th UFC career and defended his welterweight belt for the eighth time.
“I didn’t want to fight in a boxing range with him, because he is the best boxer in mixed martial art,” St-Pierre said after the fight. “His jiu jitsu is amazing and he has a very unusual scramble style which I’m not used to seeing.”
“It’s very hard to fight a guy like him, and when you fight a guy like this, it’s almost impossible to get ready for that,” he added.
It took St-Pierre only around 10 seconds to take down Diaz for the first time in the opening round, and most of the first frame was spent on the ground as Diaz tried in vain to roll back up.
The second round was more of the same, with St-Pierre again getting the takedown in under a minute. Diaz was able to get up with around a minute to go, but St-Pierre got the better of the exchanges on the feet.
The third round was spent primarily on the feet, but Diaz was unable to mount much of a challenge as St-Pierre used his jab well to set up punches.
In the fourth and fifth rounds, Diaz tried to be more active but was repeatedly taken down by St-Pierre.
“I don’t wanna make excuses, but I felt like I came out flat, a little off,” said Diaz, who has been asking for a fight against St-Pierre for a couple of years now.
St-Pierre called Diaz “one of my favorite guys to watch” following the bout and said the American did “a great job in promoting the fight.”
“He’s a good guy, Nick Diaz is a good guy,” St-Pierre told the crowd.
Diaz was repeatedly warned by the referee during the bout after he swung at St-Pierre after the bell. Normally fiery, Diaz was subdued after the fight and admitted he is thinking of retiring.
“I think I’m done with mixed martial arts... I’m tired of getting banged up like this,” he told Joe Rogan.
In the co-main event, Johnny Hendricks barged his way into title contention with a unanimous decision victory over former interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit.
In a three-round war, Hendricks took Condit down 12 times but Condit got up every time and gave out his fair share of damage.
“Condit is tougher than hell, I’m not taking anything away from him. He fought a great fight,” said Hendricks, who won with scores of 29-28 across the board.
“I told you guys we’ll come down here and steal the show, and me and Carlos did it,” he added.
Hendricks addressed St-Pierre after his victory, saying: “GSP, hey if you win tonight, I wanna see you here in five months and fight you. Guess what, I earned it. GSP please, I earned that.”
In the undercard, Jake Ellenberger booked a stunning first round technical knockout victory over Nate Marquardt.