UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre battered opponent Nick Diaz for five rounds Saturday night to clinch an asymmetrical unanimous decision at UFC 158.
St-Pierre, currently 24-2, dominated Diaz, 27-8-0 with one no-contest, to a clearcut win, scoring 50-45 on all three judges' cards.
To the surprise of few, St-Pierre used his wrestling moves to control Diaz, his authoritative double leg takedown bringing Diaz to the mat and his jabs and kicks battering Diaz while still on his feet.
— NISSI ICASIANO (@Nissi_Icasiano) March 17, 2013
Diaz never gave up, rolling for knee and arm-bar submissions a number of times, but St-Pierre managed to maintain his position, employing his fists and elbows whenever an opportunity arose.
In round two, both fighters seemed content to stand and battle with both landing decent blows. In the clinch they traded knees, but it was St-Pierre who was finally able to push Diaz back and bring him to the mat.
Rounds three to five were similar, with St-Pierre dominating Diaz from from above and giving him little opportunity to mount a significant offense on his feet or on the ground.
Diaz, who entered the ring with a chip on his shoulder and no lack of attitude, did show the champion his due respect after the fight.
St-Pierre also acknowledged his opponent, seemingly in an attempt to end the bad blood between the two, saying "Nick Diaz is a good guy".
"Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play." -Mike Singletary
— Georges St-Pierre(@GeorgesStPierre) March 8, 2013
Post-fight, St-Pierre, the Montreal hometown favourite, revealed his strategy.
I didn’t want to fight in a boxing range with him. I don’t have training partners like that. When you fight guy like him it’s almost impossible to get ready for a guy like that. (I wanted to) stay in a shoot boxing range, not in a boxing range. Use my karate to get in and out and mix that with my wrestling. I never took it personal. Nick is a veteran. Im actually a big fan of Nick Diaz, he is one of my favourite guys to watch, that’s why I wanted to fight him.
Diaz, for his part, clearly felt he was not in his element as he spoke to reporters after the bout.
I think I’m done with mixed martial arts, I’m tired of getting banged up. I’ve been thinking this through for a while now. I think I did the best I could with what I had to work with.
— nick diaz (@nickdiaz209) March 15, 2013
St-Pierre, 31, seemed satisfied with his successful defence of his title for the 8th straight time since winning the championship back from Matt (The Terror) Serra at UFC 83 in April 2008.
Currently, only middleweight champion Anderson Silva has more title defences with 10.
Some awful mad people about the fight last night... its mma for a reason. Diaz knows gsp one of the top wrestlers in the sport shoulda been
— Jesse Trent (@JJT72) March 17, 2013
Wish the fight was more of a stand up brawl but cant be mad GSP strategically won by taking it to the floor where he can dominate #ufc
— Chris Mckenzie (@its_mckenz_bro) March 17, 2013
Just finish Nick diaz vs GSP. Good fight, but you gotta give Diaz a break the dude wasn't fighting for like 13 months and jump in cage.
— Minion Del Diablo (@Laodemon22) March 17, 2013