Nick Diaz has made Georges St-Pierre angry. And I mean really, really angry.
According to a recent report by MMAJunkie.com, GSP unleashed a side of himself never before seen in response to the never-ending verbal jabs from Mr. Diaz.
St-Pierre's head trainer, Firas Zahabi, sounded off on the issue:
I think I've never seen Georges this angry. Maybe he doesn't realize it as much, but he's been insulted many times—worse, even. But I think what pissed off Georges the most is he was insulted while he was sidelined.
Apparently, you can insult GSP when he's healthy, but you cannot take a shot at him when he isn't fit to respond accordingly.
Diaz's insults during St-Pierre's recovery period sent the welterweight champion over the edge, opening the abyss that is GSP's dark place.
He had a serious injury, and I think Georges carried that with him a long time. After his operation, Georges was in a lot of pain, and he had guys on his list—and Nick Diaz was on top of it.
Now, every big fight involves some banter to this effect. "I've never been this motivated," "He's in for the worst beating of his life" and so on. These stand as commonly used cliches by champions and challengers alike.
But this time, I legitimately believe GSP is driven beyond his usual self. Don't forget that he was a common target for schoolyard bullies during his childhood.
Speaking on The Jim Rome Show earlier this week (via MMAMania.com), UFC president Dana White revealed that St-Pierre felt Diaz had bullied him in an incident following UFC 137. It is not a stretch to think that GSP battled some intense mental stress in dealing with recollections of his past.
The problem—for Diaz, at least—is that St-Pierre is more than capable of handling his challengers now.
For the first time in what feels an eternity, I believe we'll see GSP open up with some uncontrolled rage inside the Octagon at UFC 158, and Diaz will be on the wrong end of the beating that ensues.
Zahabi acknowledged this distinct possibility in his interview.
I think he's very mature as a fighter in terms of controlling his temperament. But we've never been in this situation. So I don't want to say there's no way he's going to street fight, and then it turns into a street fight. I don't know. This is a unique situation. Nobody's ever gotten under Georges' skin this personally.
What do you think? Does St-Pierre remain calm and collected in this fight, or does he explode in a fit of fury?