Thoughts on UFC 158
UFC 158 was really something. With all the trash talk between GSP and Diaz leading up to their fight, it seemed like the main event would be one of the bloodiest ones in the history of the sport. Diaz has always had a mouth on him and it’s not easy to ruffle GSP’s feathers. But given how GSP responded to some of his barbs in the pre-fight press conference, it looked like the French Canadian champion was going to step in with a point to prove. So it was a little anticlimactic to see how Hendricks vs Condit was more of a crowd pleaser. What a battle that was! But this post is not about them.
Even though the GSP/Diaz battle was, on the surface at least, a little unexciting, it was also textbook GSP. Absolute ground control, total imposition of will and a constant stream of elbows to the face. Even when they were trading shots standing up, Diaz couldn’t damage his opponent enough to make a dent. It might not “look” exciting but there is no doubting the efficacy of Rush’s tactics. For a guy who didn’t grow up wrestling, his ability to take his opponents to the ground borders on the absurd. In very simple terms GSP is a better fighter. There is no doubting Diaz’s skills or his sheer ferocity in the cage. But when it came down to it, Rush beat him. Fair and square. Let’s face it, this was a fight that in many ways has been 5 years in the making, Diaz had nothing but time to prepare for GSP’s tactics.
And how did he react? In the most disappointing way he could. Trying to build up hype leading up to a fight is one thing, but trying to get a cheap shot in after the bell rings? That’s just not cool. To me, that was the moment where he lost. In that moment, it was obvious (to me at least) that Diaz would do anything to get under GSP’s skin. It stank of desperation. I’ll give him this, he plays the role of villain to a tee. The classiest thing he did the entire night was hug his opponent at the end of it all. But Nick Diaz being Nick Diaz, didn’t waste anytime pissing even that away with the things he said in the post-fight conference. Some of stuff he’s said over the last few weeks have really, really ticked me off. For instance (these are not precise quotes btw):
“This guy has no punching power. He hits like a bitch.” Yet he cut you up. On what planet does a kyokushin karate black belt (guys that routinely punch through bricks) have no punching power?
“I don’t wanna make excuses.” That’s all you did in the conference Nick.
“Nobody helped me out.” WTF does that even mean? You’ve been doing this for years before GSP even showed up in the UFC. Doesn’t all that experience count for something? Are you seriously going to blame your performance on bad training? That you couldn’t find someone to train with? Here’s a thought, maybe try to be less of an asshole to people. Maybe that will work in your favor.
“I wasn’t trying to hit him; I was just trying to swipe it across his face. I was just trying to be mean.” Sorry Nick, but you are not that good an actor. That was a bullshit move and you know it.
“I got no sleep, my stomach wasn’t right etc etc” Hendricks just won a fight with a broken hand. Who’s the bitch now?
“This sport is geared towards wrestlers. I think there should be more stand up like in Pride etc etc. This isn’t real fighting.” Okay this one had me foaming at the mouth. What a bullshit and moronic thing to say. Of course this is not a “real” fight. Neither were the Pride bouts you so love. Real fights don’t have referees, judges, scoring or belts. Real fights are not spectator events. They are life and death situations. You of all people should know that with your street gang background. This is a sport. Hell, you said so yourself. It has rules. You know what those rules are. If you don’t like em, don’t participate. And while we are on the subject, if you think you are that good at boxing, then by all mean, go box. You’ve done it before in 2005, go do it again. But for your own sake, stop bitching. This should be beneath you.
I don’t get it. Diaz is (was?) one of best fighters in the UFC, but unless he can get his “the world is always against me” issues sorted, he will never be more than a shadow of his former self. My feelings about him notwithstanding, that would be a tragedy.