Georges St.Pierre earned a unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz tonight at UFC 158.
Here we go! Leg kick from GSP immediately. Diaz looks for a jab and GSP swoops down and scores the immediate takedown.
He lands a couple of punches to the midsection and then an elbow to the face. Diaz is utilizing a high guard, but so far there’s no submission attempt.
Diaz attempts to roll out and GSP takes his back. Diaz rolls again, but GSP sprawls onto of him and then works to the back again with Diaz still turtled up.
St.Pierre switches sides and is peppering Diaz with some shots. They move again and GSP is on top inside Diaz’s guard and rains down a few elbows.
Again Diaz rolls a couple of times, but can’t shake GSP lose. Diaz is up against the cage and hoping to work upright, but GSP just drags him away from the cage.
Diaz works back to the cage and stands briefly before being taken down again. GSP manhandling Diaz as we enter the final minute of the round.
Diaz back to his feet, but pressed against the cage. He’s looking for a kimura, but gets dumped to the mat almost onto his head.
The bell sounds and Diaz looks like he’s going to look for a punch as he gets up, but the referee drags him away.
Diaz adopts a lower stance as he begins round two. GSP lands a leg kick and Diaz stays patient.
Diaz starts to come forward and throws a few rangey strikes, but that’s GSP’s cue to duck in for the takedown and lands it.
St.Pierre inside Diaz’s guardl, occasionally posturing up to land a few punches. Diaz rolls and is back in that turtled up position with GSP on top switching from side to side and landing some solid ground and pound to the head.
Diaz briefly tries to stand, but is still on all fours and is hauled back down. GSP looks to get a hook in and fully take the back, but is not successful and has to settle for going back to top control and landing a little more ground and pound.
It’s deja vu as Diaz tries to roll and GSP controls his back.
Finally Diaz finds a way to get back to his feet. With a minute left in the round GSP decides to stay upright and lands a jab. Diaz starts to taunt him and sticks out his chin for GSP to hit.
Diaz not really pushing the pace too much here and aside from a spinning kick isn’t landing too much. The bell sounds and Diaz mouths off at him before returning to his corner.
Onto the third and GSP engages on the feet, snapping Diaz head back with some swift jabs. Diaz is not impressed and taunts him. St.Pierre grazes him with a head kick and soon after goes for the takedown, but for a change it’s stuffed.
That doesn’t put him off though and he lands a successful one soon after. He’s not able to do much with it this time though as Diaz crawls over to the cage and gets upright.
So it’s back to the stand-up and Diaz lands a nice shot to the body. A couple of leg kicks from Diaz land and St.Pierre starts to work behind his jab.
Diaz attempts a couple of high kicks that don’t land and GSP returns with one of his own that also is unsuccessful.
St.Pierre goes for the takedown and again it’s stuffed. Hard right from the champion lands. Diaz lands a couple of light punches.
More punches land from Diaz and for the first time in the fight GSP looks a little vulnerable and is now bleeding from a cut to the face. Wisely St.Pierre opts to go back to plan A and secures a takedown to make it to the end of the round safely.
Controversial moment as Diaz attempts to punch GSP from his back after the bell has sounded, and the refree warns him that if he tries anything like that again he’ll be disqualified.
Onto round four and they trade standing with GSP landing with the jab and a few leg kicks while Diaz is looking to land his rangier punches.
A takedown attempt from GSP and Diaz stuffs it. A brief exchange and then GSP grabs a hold of a leg, but the takedown is again stuffed. A third is stuffed not long afterwards – I can’t remember the last time this many attempts from the champion were stuffed.
They clinch up against the cage and diaz gets the better of the dirty boxing, landing some nice body shots.
Strange tactics from Diaz, he’s not pushing the pace much and is almost looking to counter here rather than really bring the fight to his opponent.
That gives GSP time to compose himself and he opts for a takedown which is successful this time. Diaz throws up a high guard, but in the end opts to move towards the cage and gets back up.
Back down he goes and then the process repeats until he’s back up again against the cage. Diaz looks for a kimura, but can’t make it work and GSP ends the round on top.
Final round is underway and Diaz needs to do something big here. He starts with a couple of kicks. Punches follow and GSP responds with the jab.
GSP looks for the takedown and Diaz shuts it down and they remain in the clinch. Knee to the midsection from GSP, then Diaz presses him against the cage. They exchange a few knees and GSP’s getting the better of it.
They break apart. GSP lands a couple of punches. Diaz goes for a head kick, but it’s blocked and he slips in the process.
It’s a mistake that GSP capitalizes on, ensuring that he stays on the mat. It’s back to that familiar position with Diaz on his knees and GSP on his back. Diaz does an unusual spin and manages to free himself and they are back on the feet with just over 90 seconds left.
They clinch up and Diaz lands some punches and knees to the midsection. Breaking apart GSP lands a leg kick then tries for a head kick.
GSP musters up the energy for one last speedy takedown and lands it. He tries to throw a little ground and pound and Diaz tries to do the same. Diaz looking for something, but GSP postures up and rains down some offense as the bell sounds.
Thankfully there’s no bad blood immediately afterwards and the two men shake hands before Diaz raises his opponents hand which brings cheers from the fans.
So, it’s on to the judges scorecards and Georges St.Pierre claims a unanimous decision win (50-45 x3).
Overall it was broadly the fight many had predicted, with GSP coming out on top thanks to his distinct wrestling advantage, but there were some surprises.
For instance Diaz was able to stop a number of the champions takedowns which is something we rarely see and also got back to his feet on few occasions. GSP also looked to be tiring in the final round and it did make me wonder whether his ACL injury and long layoff took a bigger toll than we’ve realized.
On the flip side it was also surprising that Diaz didn’t make more of an effort to make his mark when he was given the opportunity on the feet at several stage during the fight.
Afterwards he suggested that retirement may now be on the cards, but hopefully he decides against that as there’s still a lot of good fights out there for him.
As for GSP, the question now will be whether he faces Johny Hendricks next, or finally takes on a superfight with Anderson Silva.