For years, Georges St-Pierre has been the brightest welterweight star in the UFC galaxy. For much of that time, Nick Diaz was the brightest star outside of it.
Now, the two are set to square off, the action scheduled to go down just over two weeks from now, on Saturday, March 16.
St-Pierre will enter the bout riding a 10-fight win streak that dates back to 2007. In his last match, GSP returned from a 19-month injury-induced hiatus to thrash interim champion Carlos Condit for five rounds, reasserting his dominance over the 170-pound weight class.
Diaz's last bout was actually a loss to St-Pierre's most recent opponent. It is unconventional for a fighter who is coming off a loss to earn a title shot, but it is not unprecedented. And in this case, Diaz's reputation combines with his long-standing feud with GSP to usher him to the front of the contender's line.
While the pairing is one that fans have clamored to see for a long time, the timing is a bit bizarre. Not only is Diaz coming off a loss, he is coming out of a short-lived retirement to leap-frog clear No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks.
The booking of the fight has annoyed people—surely Hendricks most of all—but the match has generated a lot of interest and excitement, which has yet to even approach its zenith. The pinnacle of anticipation will be reached as we near fight-night, and if the UFC's latest promotional tool signifies the earnest departure of the UFC 158 hype-train, prepare to be bombarded with St-Pierre versus Diaz ads pumping you up for the action.
But honestly, it's going to be difficult for them to top this video because few tunes get the butterflies moving in the stomach quite like The House of the Rising Sun.