The Bitter Rivalry: Breaking Down GSP vs. Nick Diaz @ UFC 158!
by, 03-10-2013 at 07:03 AM (9133 Views)
UFC 158 is right around the corner and things are heating up as Georges St-Pierre puts his Welterweight Title on the line against long time foe Nick Diaz. This has the potential to be the biggest, most anticipated UFC Fight in History. Every single MMA fan with a pulse will order it because it is going to be a great fight come March 16.
Anyone who has heard of, been interested in, or occasionally watched MMA these past few years has also seen or heard of the bad blood that these two fighters have for each other. Well, there is bad blood on Georges St-Pierre’s side, Nick Diaz on the other hand has bad blood with everyone he fights. There continued to be a war of words between the two during this last Thursday’s press conference call. I'm sure that you've probably heard the gist of the call unless you've been asleep under a rock this last week, but for those of you who haven't had the time to check out the war of words here's a short video of the Media Call:
I was flabbergasted with these two during the call, I mean how the heck do you respect one-another yet at the same time talk sh**? Can we say issues? Anyway that's all talk right there and neither GSP nor Nick Diaz are training to talk with each other - no, they're training for a fight and a fight it will be! These two are so closely matched in skill sets that no matter where the fight goes, whether on the ground or standing up, it's going to be about who wants it more - Diaz or GSP. Let's take a look at what the numbers say about each fighter:
George St-Pierre: 31 years old and fighting out of Montreal, Quebec Canada, he stands 5'11" (180 cm) tall, and weighs 170 Lbs (77 kg). Georges is 23-2-0 with 8 wins by KO/TKO; 5 Submission Victories and 10 wins by way of Decisions. He's been KO'ed once in his career and was forced to Submit once. His last loss was by way of KO at the hands of Matt Serra @ UFC 69
GSP is a very well-rounded fighter with emphasis being ground & pound with wrestling. Athletic with great cardio and one of the most self - disciplined fighters in MMA today. He's very good at keeping his cool in tight situations and learns quickly from mistakes. Mostly thought of as a "point fighter", he needs to step out of that comfort zone of decision victories with this fight. If he really wants to shut Diaz up then he needs to finish the fight in convincing fashion, leaving no doubt about who the better MMA artist is.
Keys to Victory:
1. Stay Focused: GSP cannot afford to get sucked into Nick Diaz's mind games here as you know Diaz is going to try his best to throw his opponent off his game by getting into GSP's head.
2. Play to your Strengths: Georges is great at taking people down and controlling them on the mat. And although Diaz is great at Jiu Jitsu and submissions, he's also susceptible to having his guard passed and being controlled by stronger grapplers.
3. Power, Power and more Power: As evidenced by Diaz's defeat at the hands of one Carlos Condit, Nick has a difficult time controlling the pace of a fight against strong kick-boxers. GSP may not be a better kick-boxer than Condit, but he does have more power in his striking than Condit does. Using this power to his advantage just may seal the deal and crush the dreams of one Nick Diaz.
4. Dictate the Pace: The last thing GSP wants to do is to let Diaz turn this fight into an all out street brawl. One way to stop that is to dictate the pace of the fight. This will throw Diaz off his game, frustrate him and ultimately give GSP a better advantage in controlling the outcome of the fight.
Nick Diaz: 29 years old and fighting out of Stockton, California USA; he stands 6'0" (182 cm) tall, and weighs 170 Lbs (77 kg). Nick is 26-8-1 with 13 wins by way of KO/TKO; 8 wins by Submission and 5 wins by Decision with 1 No Contest. He's never been forced to submit, has been KO'ed twice, had a win overturned into a loss (vs. Takanori Gomi @ Pride 33, Feb. 24 - 2007), and has had 6 decision losses. His last loss was at the hands of Carlos Condit via the Judges by way of decision.
Nick has a reputation for being the UFC's "Bad Boy" for a number of reasons, but there is no denying the man's skill. One of the best boxers in MMA today with arguably one of the best Jiu Jitsu skills to be found anywhere in MMA, Nick is a force to be reckoned with. He has great conditioning, trains with the Gracie family of fighters and can easily back up all the tough talk. A master of mind games and throwing opponents off of their game plan, Nick cannot afford to let this fight go to a decision. Let's face it, the Judges don't like him and tend to let that play into the final outcome if left in their hands. You want respect Nick? Then go out there and dominate GSP to secure a finish and keep the Judges out of it.
Keys to Victory:
1. Stay active: Although Diaz throws a lot of well timed strikes, his leg kicks lack authority. One way to get GSP to think twice about going for a takedown or getting too bold is to utilize leg kicks to their full advantage. What this means Nick is don't be lazy, don't just half - heartily throw a kick. Throw them with conviction and meaning, make them hurt and weaken the legs of GSP, this will work to your advantage in the later rounds.
2. Utilize Boxing: Diaz cannot afford to stand still and give GSP an opening here. Keep circling, keep your head moving and throw GSP off his timing with strong jabs to the face, a few body punches, and most definitely check GSP's leg kicks. Don't get lulled into giving GSP an advantage he doesn't need. By effectively utilizing the jab and boxing skills, Nick can impose his will and dictate the pace of the fight. Throw counter punches and plenty of uppercuts, perhaps an over hand right will seal the deal here.
3. Don't get complacent: GSP has one of the best wrestling games in MMA today and has a knack of stifling his opponent into a defensive "zombie" state of mind. Nick needs to stay active on the ground, go for plenty of submissions, try to stand back up if or when taken down, strike from both the bottom and top positions and throw plenty of elbows. Work the entire fight and refuse to let GSP set the pace to dominate the ground game.
4. Shock factor: Let's face it, nobody expects to see Nick using his legs and knees as that is not a big factor in his repertoire. By utilizing a Muay Thai clinch and throwing knees, elbows and some dirty boxing can keep GSP guessing and a little hesitant about opening up offensively. Also look for the high knee strike to the head of GSP when he shoots in for a takedown. Most grapplers bring their head down and to the side when going for a takedown, this leaves them susceptible to a well timed knee that can end a fight fast, and GSP is no exception to this rule of thumb.
5. Use the Mental Game: Sure GSP is great at keeping his composure and is famous for his self discipline, but Nick is a master at the old "Jedi - Mind - Trick". By taunting GSP and getting into his head Nick can throw him off his game plan. Will it make him angry - you bet, but an angry man in a fight is a careless man and will ultimately leave himself open for the KO strike or Submission. Either way, this tactic can give Diaz the advantage he needs to secure a win here.
We need to see a clear winner between these two if anything is going to be settled at UFC 158. Neither one wants to go back home looking like a chump having to admit that they lost, so get ready for some fireworks. So who wins you might ask? We do, the fans. No matter who gets their hand raised in victory, rest assured that this won't be a sleeper. So Let's Get Ready To Rumble come March 16, 2013. See you there.