The Punk: UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz Review
by, 03-17-2013 at 09:33 AM (3765 Views)
Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz isn't just a fight. It's the culmination of a near three year long war of words between the two. The UFC has been set on these two fighting each other since early 2011 but through a comedy of errors and injuries, the long-awaited bout has been delayed...until now. Also on the card is the almost equally anticipated fight between two other Welterweight contenders, Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks. UFC 158 promises a complete shakeup of the 170 pound division...but who will emerge as it's champion and challenger? Lets fight!
Bout One - Lightweight
Colin Fletcher vs. Mike Ricci
A strange inclusion the main card, especially with Patrick Côté fighting in the prelims. These two entered the promotion with strong performances in TUF: The Smashes and TUF 16 respectively. A poor first fight which was mostly contested on the feet, Fletcher was unable to find the range needed to execute his unorthodox striking game. Ricci fared better thanks to superior wrestling skills and ground and pound and despite failing to impress, thoroughly deserved the decision victory. Not a great way to start such an anticipated event.
Winner: Mike Ricci via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Fight Rating: **.5/5
Bout Two - Middleweight
Chris Camozzi vs. Nick Ring
Another fight that probably should have been relegated to the prelims, Camozzi and Ring engaged in an eventless 15 minute encounter which few will remember before long. Ring's game plan was to jab and move and for the most part he found success until he slowed in the second round. Camozzi on the other hand, was able to withstand the Canadian's offense, landed some offense of his own and controlled position in the Octagon, doing enough in the process to earn him a close split decision victory. Probably not a fight I would want to see booked again...ever.
Winner: Chris Camozzi via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Fight Rating: **.5/5
Bout Three - Welterweight
Nate Marquardt vs. Jake Ellenberger
Let the Welterweight shakeup commence! The first in the 170 pound trilogy kicked off with the former Strikeforce champion Marquardt meeting a man with arguably the best knockout power, other than Hendricks, in the division. Ellenberger didn't need a lot of time to back up that claim as he withstood some stiff leg kicks from Marquardt before dropping him with a brutal combination of haymakers just after the three minute mark. With a couple more wins like that, Ellenberger could finally break into contendership. The Canadian crowd, baying for violence, were given a healthy dose with this brief, but entertaining fight.
Winner: Jake Ellenberger via KO (Punches) in Round 1
Fight Rating: ***.5/5
Bout Four - Welterweight
Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit
The fight we all knew was going to be the fight of the night. Hendricks and Condit may not have originally been paired together when the card was created but the two looked made for each other at the conclusion. A fight that went the distance, Hendricks utilised his speed and heavy hands and dominated the former interim champion for the first two rounds. When striking failed, he switched to his superior wrestling and for the longest time, had a 100% takedown success rate. Condit still looked dangerous thanks to his flying knee attacks and relentless movement on the ground but in the end this was Hendricks' night. Wildly entertaining, multi-dimensional scrap which could even be another contender for fight of the year so far.
Winner: Johny Hendricks via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Fight Rating: ****.5/5
Bout Five - Welterweight Championship
Georges St-Pierre (c) vs. Nick Diaz
Anyone hoping for either a Diaz upset or a more striking orientated St-Pierre was probably left pretty disappointed at the conclusion of this highly anticipated main event bout. The promotional material for the event had stated multiple times that the longtime champion was going to give the challenger the worst beating of his life. Anyone who believed this must be pretty unfamiliar with GSP. Without a single finish since 2009, the Canadian did what he does best by taking Diaz to the ground and dominating him with unmatched wrestling. Surprisingly, GSP did allow Diaz opportunities by engaging in some standup action but the man from Stockton was simply unable to do anything of significance. A five round sweep for St-Pierre in a fight that was always destined to end this way. We were hoping for a surprise and the best we got was GSP not keeping the entire fight on the ground. Still, a decent main event bout which was enhanced somewhat by the electric Montreal crowd.
Winner and STILL champion: Georges St-Pierre via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Fight Rating: ***.5/5
Overview: Hendricks/Condit stole the show before GSP beat Diaz in a pretty predictable fashion. No real 170 pound shakeup either although Hendricks/St-Pierre will be a huge bout. If "Big Rigg" can't dethrone GSP, it would be likely that St-Pierre will retire as champion. Once again the final bouts saved the night for the UFC. The opening two bouts shouldn't have been here and it would have been much better to have had the Cote/Voelker and Mein/Miller bouts on the main card.
PPV Rating: ***.5/5
KO of the Night: Jake Ellenberger
Submission of the Night: N/A
Fight of the Night: Hendricks/Condit
Thanks for reading. What did you think of UFC 158?
Follow me on Twitter @ThePunk2012. Check out more reviews by clicking here.