Nick Diaz is in Georges St-Pierre's head.
Through all the trash-talking, missed press conferences, canceled fights, rambling YouTube videos and scathing interview clips, the Stockton native has already breached GSP's typically cool outer shell.
It doesn't matter that Diaz is coming off of a loss.
GSP just wants to hurt him.
As White has told fans and press repeatedly through the last year, GSP asked for this fight, incensed beyond measure at Diaz's words and actions in the weeks before their original dance date at UFC 137. Now, he's determined to beat him as badly as humanly possible.
But will that attitude cost Georges St-Pierre the UFC Welterweight Championship?
Is GSP more vulnerable than ever?
Let's back-track to the build-up for UFC 154, where St-Pierre told anyone who asked that fans would see a new "Rush" in the Octagon. More aggressive. More daring. Willing to take chances. When he faced Carlos Condit, we would see a whole new GSP in action.
"Yeah, sure," some of us said. It sounded like another boring 50-45 decision in the works.
And how wrong we were.
St-Pierre walked out of his title fight beaten, bloody and bruised, but it was the most thrillingly violent contest that Canada had seen since his fights with Jon Fitch and BJ Penn. GSP had also beaten Condit almost as badly, while the former interim champion was swollen and cut up.
But GSP almost lost.
In a heart-stopping moment during the third round, Condit pulled off a brilliant head kick, flooring GSP and nearly winning the bout. It was the closest anyone had come to dethroning him in years.
Would that have happened if GSP had played it safe? If he wasn't so desperate to put on a show and go in for the kill? Is that what happens when "Rush" gets emotional?
If that's the case, maybe his upcoming match with Diaz is more dangerous than it looks.
St-Pierre's obsession with Diaz is odd and uncharacteristic, and could possibly hint at another grueling battle for five violent rounds. He can walk into the Octagon at UFC 158 with all the anger he wants, but Diaz feeds off rage like a rabid animal, often handing it back to his opponents in the form of hundreds of punches.
What if, in a bold attempt to become the second man to ever finish Diaz during a fight, GSP's aggression leaves him open to a monstrous counter-punch?
(Of course, Diaz would likely rather go straight edge than throw a proper head kick.)
Maybe going into this match with a grudge isn't the best idea.
A focused, calculating St-Pierre is an unbeatable fighter.
But an angry champion looking to squash a hated rival at any costs might be very beatable. For once, MMA fans have to wonder—will GSP's obsession with Diaz be his greatest asset? Or will it ultimately cause his downfall?