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“I Can Talk As Much As I Want But Tomorrow I Will Walk The Walk” - Georges St. Pierre


PhilBoxing.com



Georges St. Pierre.
Montreal, Canada - All the drama and pre-fight festivities had ended heading into this year’s biggest and baddest MMA fight between good guy UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (23W-2L-0D) vs. bad guy Nick Diaz (26W-8L-0D). The many months of animosity and tension that brewed between St. Pierre and Diaz reach it’s climax tonight. “I can talk as much as I want but tomorrow I will walk the walk,” were Georges St. Pierre’s parting words as he addressed the crowd in attendance during the weigh-in before he departed.

Nick Diaz certainly did not hold back his words and actions with his attempts to irritate Georges St. Pierre (GSP) whenever they were in the same room. The more reserved GSP took a bite of the animosity being served up by Diaz, but his demeanor as a true champion of the sport reaffirmed his mission. He commentated several times that he is only focused on this fight and he will walk the walk when the bell rings.

“Wolf Tickets” were the term Nick Diaz used to describe the hype the UFC and Dana White where using to promote this grudge match. Diaz mentioned in the final pre-fight presser that all he wants is to be “respected” as a martial artist and the “Wolf Tickets” style of promotion that was used by the UFC has portrayed him as the bad guy.

The deafening boos, banters and obscenities that are expected to be hurled towards Nick Diaz will only fuel him for the biggest fight of his life. Diaz is used to portraying as the bad guy. His demeanor has certainly lived up to that image with his in your face attitude, bold language and aggressiveness. Diaz is also famous for his no shows and disregard for fan appearances and engagements, a very popular topic during the final pre-fight presser with the Montreal media.

Montreal’s Bell Centre will go ballistic when hometown hero and Canadian Athlete of the year Georges St. Pierre walks into the Octagon tonight. Nick Diaz should be escorted to the Octagon with body guards in full riot gear when he walks through thousands of “Le Habitants” of The Bell Centre who want to see him bloodied and have a pound of flesh craved out of him.

Nick Diaz is not even the top ranked challenger for GSP’s welterweight belt. That honor belongs to Johny Hendricks, the top seeded featherweight who will face Carlos Condit who lost to GSP four months ago. Carlos Condit also fought and defeated Nick Diaz back in February 2012 before Diaz got suspended after testing positive for Marijuana. The UFC assembled this fight to give GSP and his hometown fans the fights they want the most. The UFC and Dana White also wanted to deliver the ultimate fan experience with this grudge match in Montreal.

GSP has fought and won against the best MMA welterweights in the business. Nick Diaz, who is a Brazilian Ju Jitsu black belter, has faced many heavy hitters in the past, however the level of competition Diaz has faced were considered as not in the same league as the opponents faced by GSP.

Nick Diaz and GSP are very good strikers with a pronounced jab and knockout out power on their feet or while on the ground pounding. Diaz usually punches wide with volume while St. Pierre controls his jabs and punches tight with precision. On the ground, both are equally capable and both have excellent endurance. Diaz is known for doing marathons and triathlons while GSP is a true cross fit perfectionist.

The significant difference between the two fighters is Nick Diaz will take chances and do things to get under his opponent’s skin that can cause GSP to deviate from his game plan and open up. GSP has a very high percentage of take downs as he has demonstrated against the UFC’s best welterweights who are well versed in wrestling and grappling. GSP has scored many points by take downs which has been a deciding factor on how he edged out his opponents by decision. GSP is considered one of the best wrestlers in the UFC today, he is on a 10 fight winning streak since 2007.

If GSP comes out of his shell and let his emotions do the fighting and go toe to toe, this match up may end up as a very entertaining good old fashioned good guy vs. villain grudge fights GSP commented he intends to give Diaz the worst beating he’s ever got. Does that mean he will go toe to toe? Don‘t count on it. Based on GSP’s last 5 fights which ended with a decision, he has not pressed the action like he used to.

Nick Diaz has been a strong finisher and closed out more fights with submissions and knockouts. The world will finally see if Diaz is in the same league with GSP who is regarded as one of MMA’s Top Pound for Pound fighters. Both are Octagon veterans who are tactful with their strategies when the fight is on. Expect Diaz to be the aggressor and the come forward fighter while GSP will be the more calculating who will take his time to read his opponent similar to some of the best counterpunchers in boxing.

Nick Diaz weighed in at 169 lbs. while GSP weighed in at 170 lbs. Both fighters have cleared their medical examination yesterday and the wait is almost over.

Writer’s Note:
*Georges St. Pierre's trip to the Philippines back in September, 2010 has been a revelation on how big the sport of MMA has become in the Philippines. To my surprise, GSP was able to converse a couple of phrases with this writer in tagalog. GSP commented that his trip to the Philippines and the time he spent with Manny Pacquiao was an honorable and memorable experience.

**Filipino-Canadian boxer Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan has been training in Montreal with GSP’s good friend and stablemate Rory MacDonald and boxing coach Howard Grant who has worked with GSP. Pagcaliwangan fights in the Montreal Bell Centre one week after UFC158.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rob Cruz.


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