Nick Diaz may have awoken a sleeping giant in Georges St-Pierre.
The UFC welterweight champ is typically known for keeping a calm and cool head, but Diaz has managed to unearth a side of him fans aren't used to seeing.
At the UFC 158 media conference call, St-Pierre called Diaz an "uneducated fool" and even insulted his English speaking abilities. Of course, these comments came on the heels of an epic diatribe from Diaz lashing out at the UFC, St-Pierre and fans for making him look like the bad guy.
The brunt of the drama has been stirred by multiple UFC 158 promo videos, where St-Pierre hints at unleashing his dark side and giving Diaz a much deserved beatdown.
Greg Jackson, St-Pierre's longtime trainer, has never seen his student riled up to this extent. He believes a combination of an angry and focused St-Pierre could mean a very bad night for Diaz.
"You'll have to ask him [if he has a dark side], but I'll tell you, I've worked with that guy for years, and if you got him really upset and he stays focused, that would be a very dangerous individual," Jackson said during an appearance on Sherdog Radio's Beatdown.
"I don't think people realize just how smart [Georges St-Pierre] really is, like he understands the game extremely well. Even if he gets mad, he'll be able to control it and keep his business as business.
He's incredibly smart, like off the charts smart, and I think he's going to be much too smart to fall for [Diaz's game]. Up to the fight, I'm sure he'll be emotionally invested. I wouldn't want to see Georges upset. I'll put it that way. He's a son of a gun even when he's calm and rational, and if he's upset, I think it'll just focus him."
It has been over four years since St-Pierre finished a fight. He could look to make an example out of Diaz on Saturday night.
Will St-Pierre be more aggressive and look to turn this into a street fight?
A back and forth slugfest would certainly gain the approval of the masses, but it may not be the smartest path for St-Pierre to take. As the best boxer in the division, Diaz thrives on wild pocket exchanges, and he would definitely welcome a street fight against a finesse fighter like St-Pierre.
Even Jackson has grown an affinity for Diaz's ability to get under his opponent's skin and make them fight his fight.
"I really like [Nick Diaz] because he's one of those few fighters that can almost always make somebody play his game, and he does it in really smart ways...He's very, very clever, but as long as you stay away from those things, as long as you control his elements, you have a good chance of winning. It's dealing with that really, really smart pressure that he has that makes this fight interesting."
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