MONTREAL, March 16 – The records Georges St-Pierre earned Saturday night at Bell Centre - tying Matt Hughes for most wins in UFC history (18) and surpassing the Hall of Famer for most successful welterweight title defenses (8) – will probably pale in comparison to the satisfaction his shutout five round unanimous decision win over longtime nemesis Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 158 gave him, ending the feud that lasted nearly a year and a half.
“I never took it personal,” said St-Pierre of the pre-fight banter between the two, which occasionally got heated. “Nick is a veteran and I’m actually a big fan of Nick Diaz, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to fight him.”
After the disappointing result, which saw Diaz lose by scores of 50-45 on all three scorecards, he hinted at retirement.
“I have to think if I still want to do this,” said Diaz. “I don’t think I’ve got anymore. I think I’m done with mixed martial arts.”
That would be an unfortunate move, as St-Pierre has proven over the course of his reign that he can make extraordinary fighters look ordinary, and tonight was no different.
Given the boos that greeted Diaz, it was hard to believe that the cheers for the champion would be even louder, but they were, with an initial roar followed by a steady stream of positive noise from the time St-Pierre walked out of the tunnel until he stepped into the Octagon.
Diaz was impatient while waiting for St-Pierre to make that trip up those four steps, shaking the fence and trying to get close to the Montrealer, but after Bruce Buffer’s introductions, he would get his chance. And there would be no pre-fight touch of the gloves.
There would be an almost immediate takedown by St-Pierre though, with Diaz trying to work his jiu-jitsu game from the bottom position. St-Pierre fired off ground strikes in response, with a scramble seeing him take Diaz’ back and keep him grounded. Working his way back into the guard, St-Pierre landed with more hard shots until Diaz gave up his back again, and simply put, the Californian didn’t have any answers for his opponent in the opening round, with an emphatic slam to the canvas by St-Pierre adding insult to injury.
Switching stances as the second started in the hopes of catching St-Pierre off guard, Diaz looked to be getting comfortable for a brief moment, which was just what GSP wanted, as he put Diaz on his back once again. Diaz tried to stay busy from his back, but St-Pierre wouldn’t give up his position or his control, swarming his foe and landing with punches to the head and knees to the body. Finally, with a minute left, Diaz found daylight and got upright. Remarkably, Diaz still taunted St-Pierre, who simply stuck to the game plan and continued to score, this time on the feet.
Talking to St-Pierre and taunting him, Diaz tried to goad St-Pierre into a mistake, but the champion wasn’t having it, as he continued to peck and poke at the challenger until he secured his customary takedown. Diaz made it to his feet quickly this time, and though St-Pierre continued to score with his jab, Diaz did stuff the next takedown attempt of the Canadian, and even got off a few strikes that landed. After stuffing another takedown, Diaz began trash talking again, and this time he followed it up with some of his best standup attacks of the fight. But with less than 45 seconds to go, it was Diaz on his back and St-Pierre back in control.
St-Pierre’s jab was sharp as the fourth round commenced, and after getting his first takedown attempt stuffed, he went right back to it. Diaz began finding his range as well, but he began bleeding around the left eye, just adding to his woes. The Stockton fighter wasn’t giving in through, and he landed some solid knees at close range before inexplicably walking around the Octagon, daring St-Pierre to chase him. GSP did just that, getting his takedown with two minutes left. The two soon rose, and while Diaz attempted a kimura on the next trip down, he was unable to lock it up, allowing St-Pierre another dominant round in the bank.
The fifth round played out like the previous four, with St-Pierre never in any danger of losing his positioning, his control, or his title.
With the win, St-Pierre improves to 24-2; Diaz falls to 27-9, 1 NC.
The two were scheduled to meet twice previous, at UFC 137 in October of 2011 and at UFC 143 in February of 2012.
GSP > 209: St-Pierre Shuts Out Diaz - UFC 158 Main Event Results
Read on for UFC 158 main event results...