Nick Diaz was telling the truth – we were sold wolf tickets. After months and months of buildup – being told that Georges St Pierre was pissed off and had dark thoughts, that he wanted to injure Nick Diaz so badly he would be forced to retire – we got a fight that was both amazingly predictable but still surprisingly disappointing. Georges St Pierre did what we all expected him to do: he took Nick Diaz down with ease and completely controlled him on the ground. Nick had no answers to Georges’ wrestling dominance, and seemed hesitant on the feet to boot. Gone was the guy who threw endless punches from all angles – for the several minutes this fight stayed on its feet, Diaz faked and postured and did very little.
In the final 10 seconds of the fight, Georges turned up the intensity and threw some ground and pound with urgency and bad intentions. But overall this was another fight where many will make the argument that St Pierre coasted to a decision victory rather than open himself up to any risk going for a finish. You could see it in his grappling style – no matter how completely he had Diaz trapped under him, his grip remained locked in a way that kept his opponent down. He never went for a submission attempt. Not one.
Diaz was unable to get anything going off his back as well, not that this was all that surprising. Stylistically this was a terrible fight for Nick from the start. Wrestlers have been the bane of his career since his first stint in the UFC and his highly vaunted Gracie jiu jitsu stylings have never amounted to much with a dominating fighter working on top of him. But it was on the feet where we really saw something strange: a less than aggressive Diaz who was flat and couldn’t pull the trigger and throw his combinations.
Wolf tickets. Georges was pissed and was gonna go in to hurt Diaz. Diaz wanted the belt and would do anything to get it. Both lies. Georges didn’t fight with any urgency or anger at all. And Nick Diaz basically admitted after the fight that he came into it with retirement on the mind. What we saw for five rounds wasn’t the fight we were sold, it was a match between two guys looking for a big paycheck.
Fortunately, Georges’ run of overclassed opponents is coming to an end. Whether he sticks around at 170 or goes catchweight for a fight with Anderson Silva, he’s not going to be able to take his next fight with relative ease. Johny Hendricks is as terrible a stylistic matchup for St Pierre as St Pierre was for Diaz. He’s got amazing wrestling, dynamite in his fists, and a real hunger to dethrone the champ and take his place. And Silva … well, no need to explain that. So finally we will get to see what we keep paying for whenever Georges St Pierre is on a UFC card: a real fight.