UFC 158 takes place Saturday night from Montreal, headlined by a UFC welterweight title bout pitting champion Georges St. Pierre and challenger Nick Diaz. The contest, expected to be one of the biggest pay-per-view attractions of the year, has featured a unique buildup and hype. The mercurial Diaz was controversially selected for the title shot despite losing his last bout and failing a post-fight drug test. St. Pierre and UFC president Dana White justified this decision by saying St. Pierre was angry at Diaz and thought the "disrespectful" Diaz "deserves a beatdown."
Diaz spent the last week challenging this assertion, accusing St. Pierre and the UFC of manufacturing a personal issue and vilifying Diaz to sell the fight. The popular and well respected St. Pierre has faced a series of antagonistic rivals like Josh Koscheck, Matt Serra and Matt Hughes throughout his career, but finds himself in somewhat of a different position in the verbal offensive and defensive for this fight. The colorful and exciting Diaz, on the other hand, confronts the most important fight of his career. The stakes have never been higher for the Stockton native.
In preliminary action, George Roop won a unanimous decision victory over Reuben Duran in a bantamweight contest. Team Alpha Male prospect T.J. Dillashaw won his third fight in a row, knocking out Issei Tamura with a knee and punches on the ground. And welterweight contender Rick Story rebounded from recent setbacks to score an impressive first round TKO over Quinn Mulhern.
UFC Welterweight Title: Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
St. Pierre is one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport, a longtime dominant welterweight champion with no unavenged losses and wins over just about every top contender. Diaz, the former Strikeforce champion, possesses a dangerous volume punching game and excellent submissions. This is the biggest fight of his career.
Round 1. St. Pierre gets a takedown seconds into the fight. Diaz immediately secures full guard and looks to posture up his hips and threaten. St. Pierre drops down some punches and Diaz looks to take top position himself. Diaz then tries to stand up but is pulled down. St. Pierre looks to mount but can't get it. St. Pierre drops a hard elbow, the first big shot of the frame. Diaz looks to get up and St. Pierre just holds him down. Diaz finally gets back to his feet but eats a couple knees and is taken back down. St. Pierre takes Diaz's back but loses it. Diaz gets back up. Diaz looks for a kimura but St. Pierre slams him back down. Another conservative winning round for the champion. 10-9 St. Pierre.
Round 2. St. Pierre throws a few leg kicks. Diaz looks to establish his boxing but eats a few jabs. St. Pierre then takes Diaz back down. St. Pierre lands some punches from the top and Diaz can't set anything up on the bottom. Diaz tries to get up and just eats more punches as St. Pierre yanks him down. St. Pierre drops elbows from inside guard. Diaz finally gets up with a minute left in the round. He makes some faces at St. Pierre and they exchange punches relatively evenly. Diaz talks some trash at St. Pierre after the round. 10-9 St. Pierre.
Round 3. Diaz comes out talking trash and lets St. Pierre throw jabs to his face. St. Pierre goes for a takedown but it is blocked. Moments later, St. Pierre gets it. Diaz works his way back up. He lands a hard punch to the body of St. Pierre. He follows with leg kicks. St. Pierre answers with some crisp jabs. They each throw wild spinning kicks that miss. St. Pierre goes for a takedown with two minutes left in the round. Diaz blocks it. Diaz lands a few nice punches that knock St. Pierre back. He opens up a cut on St. Pierre and St. Pierre takes him down. Diaz swung at St. Pierre after the bell. 10-9 Diaz.
Round 4. St. Pierre throws a few nice jabs. St. Pierre goes for a takedown and Diaz blocks it. St. Pierre goes back to the jab. Diaz blocks another takedown. St. Pierre clinches and they trade knees near the fence. St. Pierre keeps landing the jab and takes Diaz down with two minutes left in the round. Diaz gets up but St. Pierre slams him right back down. Diaz gets up again and looks for a kimura. He doesn't come close. Diaz looks for a knee bar but doesn't come close on that either. 10-9 St. Pierre.
Round 5. St. Pierre goes back to the jab and looks for another takedown. Diaz turns St. Pierre around and presses him against the cage. They trade knees to the body and then separate. St. Pierre then goes for the takedown and gets it two minutes into the final stanza. Diaz constantly tries to roll into a better position but St. Pierre will just keep him down and land punches. Diaz finally gets up with 90 seconds left to go. They clinch as the crowd chants vulgarities at Diaz. With 40 seconds left, St. Pierre takes Diaz down. St. Pierre works punches for the rest. They embrace and Diaz raises St. Pierre's hand. St. Pierre then raises Diaz's hand. 10-9 St. Pierre, 49-46 St. Pierre.