To the untrained eye, former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz is getting under the skin of UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre ahead of their fight at UFC 158.
Diaz has poked and prodded at St-Pierre for months to earn the shot at the title this weekend, and then on a recent media conference call, he unleashed a verbal tirade laced with four-letter expletives that even had the calm Canadian raise his voice, something that he's rarely done in his career.
On paper, it appears Diaz's plan to get St-Pierre so emotionally charged that he can't execute his game plan is working to perfection. The only problem is Diaz's plan has been done several times before, and it has never worked.
Prior to their 2005 fight, former UFC welterweight Frank Trigg called St-Pierre a B-level fighter. The result? St-Pierre won by first-round rear-naked choke.
In 2009, B.J. Penn literally told St-Pierre (via MMAjunkie.com), "I'm going to try and kill you, Georges, and I'm not joking about that." St. Pierre pounded Penn to a fourth-round stoppage.
Josh Koscheck stuck to the fight itself before he took on St-Pierre in 2010, stating (via Fighters.com), "I don't think Georges has a good chin and I don't think his hands are that good." On their feet, St-Pierre destroyed Koscheck's orbital bone, winning by unanimous decision after 25 minutes.
Last week during a conference call, Diaz brought into question St-Pierre's "pampered" lifestyle, where he has assistants to powder his nose and even run his Twitter account for him.
To St-Pierre, it's all just white noise in the background, and Diaz is just another fly buzzing in his ear waiting to get squashed.
"I can count on one hand the guys that have been respectful with me. All the other guys say the same stuff," St-Pierre told Jay Mohr on the Jay Mohr Sports Hour on Tuesday. "It's the same song that comes back all the time. It's no problem."
Leading up to the fight, all of the promotion has been surrounding St-Pierre's comments to UFC President Dana White about how disrespectful Diaz has been and how he plans on beating down the Stockton bad boy worse than he's ever been beaten before.
It's common knowledge, however, that no amount of trash talking has ever led St-Pierre to advert from his strategy or actually feel some deep-seated personal hatred for an opponent. So, is all the pre-fight talk just hype to sell pay-per-views, or does St-Pierre harbor some ill will toward Diaz that he's never felt before?
"He's been disrespectful, it's true. Of course I'm going to react because I'm not someone who gets himself being disrespected. The truth is we both compete because we want to be the champion and Nick Diaz is a great fighter and that's why we're fighting each other," said St-Pierre.
"It's not only because he's talking trash."
From the sound of things, St-Pierre is headed toward another classic performance when he faces Diaz on Saturday night. Despite all the trash talk and perceived disrespect, Diaz's words appear to be bouncing off of the champion like every previous opponent's.
If Diaz is going to be the person to finally dethrone St-Pierre, it's going to take a lot more than a few insults to get the fight to go his way.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.
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