Yesterday, in Montreal, the UFC held a kickoff press conference to begin promotion for the March 16th UFC 158 card headlined by long time Welterweight Champion Georges St Pierre’s title defense against Nick Diaz. This match has been scheduled before, but fell thru when Diaz famously no showed a couple of press conferences and UFC President Dana White pulled the fight. Well this time, Diaz showed up for the press obligations and it looks like the fight is going to happen. Right now, GSP is a -445 favorite, with the comeback on Diaz at +345. Let’s take a closer look at the fight and the press conference.
St Pierre is the UFC’s biggest draw, but Diaz has a great deal of notoriety and a very wide and solid fan base as well, so the line could stay around the same or there could be some serious flux from now until fight time. I look for some money to come in on Diaz and for the line to close a bit, so if your a Diaz fan, get the wide spread in now.
The tone of the press conference was subdued and professional. Diaz, who at other similar functions in the past has brought a certain amount of tension with him, seemed relaxed and answered all the questions that the press through at him. The face to face with St Pierre was professional, though the two did not shake hands after the conference.
Diaz gave some insight into the fight, basically classifying GSP as a wrestler type and stating that he has been thinking about this fight for a very long time and was preparing accordingly.
For his part, St Pierre was complementary of Diaz’ skills, and he stated that this was the fight that everyone wants to see. No real tension on his part.
This match can really go one of two ways. It will be St Pierre for the most part that dictates whee the fight will happen, as he does in almost everyone of his fights. In the stand up, St Pierre could use a diversified attack to try to keep up with Diaz’ volume punching. If it is going well for St Pierre, Diaz is unlikely to get a take down and this will turn into a boxing match, which gives Diaz a chance with the judges.
Should St Pierre not like the way the stand up is going, he will ground Diaz and try to beat him up. Diaz will be dangerous throughout the fight with his submissions, though the bout could go a lot like his brother Nate’s title fight with Lightweight champion Benson Henderson – that is that St Pierre is too strong physically for Diaz to catch a submission. This problem will grow for Diaz as blood and sweat make St Pierre more and more slippery.
The fight is about six weeks away, let’s see how this line fluctuates as we get closer.