Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, along with four of the top six welterweights in the world, will headline the main card of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s 158th installment this Saturday night, March 16, in St-Pierre’s hometown of Montreal. It’s a log jam of fierce competition at the top of the welterweight division, but it will become much clearer who the top contenders are after this weekend.
The pay-per-view card will be shown live while the undercard will be shown live and free on network cable television and facebook.com.
Georges “Rush” St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
Georges St-Pierre – Montreal, 5-11, 170 pounds, 23-2-0 (welterweight champion)
Nick Diaz – Stockton, Calif., 6-0, 170 pounds, 27-8-1 (Ranked 3rd)
A fight a long time in the making will finally take place this Saturday night between two of the best welterweights in the world. Nick Diaz has won two titles in two other UFC-owned organizations, Strikeforce and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), and would like to complete the trifecta this weekend. Diaz came as close as possible to never getting a title shot in the UFC because of doing all the wrong things outside the Octagon. Inside the Octagon he has been stellar -- so much to the fact that he has toyed with his opponents.
It’s the trash talking and disrespect that has put him on the bad side of the UFC. This actually caused Diaz to lose his first title shot with Georges St-Pierre. However, he agitated St-Pierre so much that he asked to fight Diaz even after Dana White, president of the UFC, called off their first fight.
You would think Diaz would see the light after losing out on one title shot already, but you would be wrong. This time around he still has not worked with UFC programming to help promote the fight.
St-Pierre could not be more different than his opponent, Diaz. He is one of the most professional and respectful men in all of mixed martial arts. St-Pierre is the ultimate company man, you might say.
This welterweight champion has had his rivals throughout his career with Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes and BJ Penn, but this time it seems to be different. St-Pierre has never directly asked for a fight until this one. He seems to be fed up with Diaz, calling him one of the most disrespectful human beings he has ever met.
The fight will be interesting as Diaz will have the technical advantage in two areas, boxing and Brazillian jiu-jitsu. What nullifies both of those is great wrestling, and St-Pierre is one of the best pound for pound wrestlers in MMA. St-Pierre will be much stronger and has much nastier ground-n-pound. I don’t see Diaz being able to deal with the strength of St-Pierre, who should be able to hold Diaz down and pound out a five-round decision.
St-Pierre by Unanimous Decision
Carlos “Natural Born Killer” Condit vs. Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks
Carlos Condit – Albuquerque, N.M., 6-2, 170 pounds, 28-6-0 (ranked second)
Johny Hendricks – Ada, Okla., 5-9, 170 pounds, 14-1-0 (ranked first)
Johny Hendricks, the current No. 1 contender, will have to sit and wait his turn while St. Pierre takes care of some unfinished business with Diaz. In the meantime, Hendricks will face former WEC champion Carlos Condit.
Hendricks is the current No. 1 contender for a reason, having steamrolled through the welterweight division bringing some excitement into the division that Georges St-Pierre once cleared out. Hendricks is the only fighter ever to finish Jon Fitch in the UFC, and he did it in 12 seconds.
Three of his last five fights have been finished in under one and a half rounds total.
Condit has been relegated to the roll of gatekeeper, being a constant threat for a title shot, but he will most likely never get there. With a win in any fashion for Hendricks, he should be guaranteed a title shot.
Hendricks by Unanimous Decision
Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt
Jake Ellenberger – Omaha, Neb., 5-10, 170 pounds, 28-6-0 (Ranked 6th)
Nate Marquardt – Lander, Wyo., 6-0, 170 pounds, 35-11-2
Ellenberger by TKO (Strikes)
Nick “The Promise” Ring vs. Chris Camozzi
Nick Ring – Cedar Falls, Iowa, 6-1, 185 13-0-0
Chris Camozzi – Alameda, Calif., 6-3, 185 pounds, 18-5-0
Ring by Unanimous Decision
Mike “The Martian” Ricci vs. Colin Fletcher
Mike Ricci – Montreal, 6-0, 155 pounds, 8-3-0
Colin Fletcher – Sunderland, England, 6-2, 155 pounds, 9-2-0
Fletcher by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Undercard: Live on FX
Patrick “The Predator” Cote vs. Bobby “Vicious” Voelker
Antonio “Pato” Carvalho vs. Darren “The Damage” Elkins
Dan Miller vs. Jordan “Young Gun” Mein
John “The Bull” Makdessi vs. Daron “Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank
Live on facebook.com/ufc
Rick “The Horror” Story vs. Quinn Mulhern
TJ Dillashaw vs. Issei Tamura
George Roop vs. Reuben Duran