After one single press conference, just about all the hype behind the upcoming George St-Pierre versus Nick Diaz superfight has been shot dead.
There's barely any "grudge" in this grudge match.
There's no hatred, no ill will, no fuel feeding this supposed fire that caused the UFC welterweight kingpin to call out his Stocktonian opponent.
And really, is anyone shocked? Because you shouldn't be.
Although the tagline for UFC 158 may be "Bad blood runs deep," deception runs even deeper.
During the UFC 137 post-fight press conference (via Heavy), Dana White led fans to believe that the mild-mannered GSP was out for Diaz's blood following the main event of UFC 137, where Diaz called out the champion for being too "scared" to fight:
Georges St. Pierre flipped out tonight after Nick Diaz was in the ring, and Nick needs motivation, he's got it. He's going to fight Georges St. Pierre. (St. Pierre) said, and I quote —you're going to think I'm full of s--- but this is the truth—I quote, "He's the most disrespectful human being I've ever met, and I'm going to put the worst beating you've ever seen on him in the UFC."
Undoubtedly, those sounded like uncharacteristically bold words from one of the biggest non-trash talkers in the UFC.
And yet, they didn't mean anything.
Instead, the UFC 154 press conference showed that we're still dealing with the same, boring GSP who's been seen at too many media functions.
Instead of mentioning any desire to beat up his challenger and teach him a lesson about humility or professionalism in the sport, a visibly nervous "Rush" simply stated that he wants to fight Diaz because he "believes" that Diaz is the "true" No. 1 contender.
Again, it's same as always.
No bad blood or even the slightest tinge of dislike.
As usual, GSP just wants to fight the best guy in the division. He wants the "top guy" because it could be the greatest challenge of his career and blah blah blah blah blah.
Even Diaz, who's said to be a really nice guy at heart, didn't care to comment on any of the trash-talk during the UFC 158 presser, saying that he essentially has no beef with GSP anymore:
I like my opponent. That's why I want to fight him. I don't mean to say it like that, but he's the No. 1 guy to beat. That's what you want. I've been wanting his spot. He's got the spot. He's the guy to beat ... I like him just fine.
And so, the UFC 158 show rolls on, with two guys who respect each other and just want to fight the No. 1 fighter for the right the wear that UFC championship belt.
It was all a swerve, and a masterful one at that.
There was less money to be made from GSP versus Johny Hendricks, and the Anderson Silva fight was a hasty plan that never came to fruition.
So, the UFC and St-Pierre went with their next best option.
Instead of giving the next title shot to the actual No. 1 contender, MMA fans were fed the idea of an angry George St-Pierre chomping at the bit to smash Nick Diaz into the Octagon canvas, booking the superfight as a grudge match for the ages.
It's just too bad it isn't.
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