UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defeated No. 1 contender Nick Diaz by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 158 Saturday night. The five-round battle went down at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
St-Pierre had the home-field advantage in Canada, but the defending champion deserves all the credit for this hard-fought victory over a worthy opponent in Diaz.
Despite getting a rare reaction from St-Pierre during the conference calls leading into this fight (h/t Sherdog), Diaz must have known he was the underdog. He was trying to gain any mental advantage he could.
While Diaz’s effort was valiant Saturday, it wasn’t enough to stop the title reign of St-Pierre.
The loss marks Diaz’s second straight in the UFC. He won his previous 11 MMA fights before dropping a decision to Carlos Condit in February of 2012.
There is no question that Diaz is still one of the toughest fighters in the world. But the depth and skill of the welterweight division either mean the veteran has to make a change in his weight class or how he approaches fights in the Octagon.
This victory marks St-Pierre’s 11th in a row and the champion’s eighth successful title defense. It has further entrenched him into the conversation as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in MMA history.
The UFC must find him another viable opponent to continue building on the momentum the welterweight champion has created during his reign.
That’s where Johny Hendricks comes into play again.
Hendricks defeated Carlos Condit earlier in the evening, and now he should be given the honor of taking on St-Pierre for the welterweight title.
If St-Pierre were to beat Hendricks, there would be no question that he would be the greatest welterweight fighter in MMA history.