Georges St-Pierre Retains Welterweight Title at UFC 158 | MMAWeekly.com
Georges St-Pierre (24-2) has retained the UFC welterweight title for the eighth time with a commanding unanimous decision win over Nick Diaz (26-9, 1 NC) at UFC 158 on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
All three judges awarded the fight to St-Pierre 50-45.
In the opening two rounds, St-Pierre was able to completely dominate the fight, landing takedowns at will and was able to outwork Diaz from the top position with ground strikes.
He began to slow down in round three and Diaz was able to repeatedly stuff his takedown attempts and keep the fight standing, engaging in strikes. But the 31-year-old Canadian was still able to out-strike Diaz on his feet and never looked in doubt.
Coming into the final round, St-Pierre clinched, looking for the takedown, but Diaz broke free before falling to the mat where the eight-time world champion was able to land ground strikes from side control, maintaining top position, to the roars of his home crowd to the final bell.
“I didn’t want to fight in a boxing range with him because he’s the best boxer in mixed martial arts,” St-Pierre said. “He has a very unusual scrambling style and I don’t have a training partner like that, it’s almost impossible to get ready for that.”
Although there was animosity between the pair leading into the fight, it all seemed forgotten after the final bell, with both fighters full of praise for their counterpart.
“Nick, you made a great job promoting the fight. He’s a good guy,” St-Pierre told the crowd. “I never took it personal. Nick is a veteran. He was in the UFC before me. I’m actually a big fan of Nick Diaz and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to fight him.”
UFC champ Georges St-Pierre likely headed to Las Vegas for next title defense
For the first time in more than three years, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre's next title defense is unlikely to come in his home country.
The Canadian headlined Saturday's UFC 158 event at Montreal's Bell Centre and easily handled challenger Nick Diaz in the pay-per-view headliner.
However, in his next outing, which will come against co-main-event winner and surging contender Johny Hendricks (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC), expect St-Pierre (24-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC) to return to Las Vegas for the first time since UFC 100 in 2009.
"I was just telling Lorenzo (Fertitta) we've got to bring him back to Vegas," UFC President White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following UFC 158. "He hasn't been out of Canada in a while."
After defeating Thiago Alves at UFC 100, St-Pierre headed to Newark, N.J., for a victory over Dan Hardy at UFC 111. However, since that March 2010 fight, he's fought exclusively north of the border. Montreal has hosted three of his fights, and Toronto got one.
So why fix what's not broken with the PPV juggernaut? White believes Montreal can draw big crowds – like the 20,145 people who produced a reported gate of $3.7 million at UFC 158 – even without St-Pierre. Specifically, he points to a UFC 113 event headlined by Lyoto Machida and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua that did similar figures.
"We had two Brazilians headline up here and it was fantastic," White said. "Montreal's a destination. It's a fun city to come to. I don't think anybody comes here and doesn't have a good time, even in the winter. It's cold as hell, but it's still a great place. Great restaurants, great hotels."
Nick Diaz says Georges St-Pierre 'hits like a woman,' wants a title rematch