GSP vs Diaz: What's at Stake for Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158?

Sean SmithAnalyst IMarch 15, 2013

Mar 15, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Georges St.Pierre during the weight-in for UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Georges St-Pierre has won nine straight UFC title fights. 

He'll look for his 10th against enemy Nick Diaz at UFC 158 on Saturday.

Despite all St-Pierre's accolades and the big fights he's taken part in over the years, we've never seen the welterweight champion act as he has in the lead-up to this matchup. St-Pierre has a serious problem with Diaz or else he wouldn't be fighting the challenger who is coming off of back-to-back losses and a year-long absence from competition. 

St-Pierre's issues with Diaz are nothing new. The two welterweights had been scheduled to fight at UFC 137 back in 2011, but Diaz was pulled from that bout because he missed multiple press obligations and St-Pierre later suffered an injury that didn't allow him to compete on the fight card anyway.

Following his win over B.J. Penn at the event, Diaz called the injured St-Pierre out and helped set up a re-scheduled fight that would once again fall apart due to an injury for the champion.  

For once, the history with his opponent make this St-Pierre fight about something other than legacy. The Canadian's pride is on the line in this bout.

St-Pierre asked for Diaz as an opponent in an effort to silence the controversial contender once and for all. Should he lose on Saturday, St-Pierre will never hear the end of his decision to plead for an opponent who most felt was undeserving of a shot at the belt in comparison to a surging welterweight like Johny Hendricks.

There is the potential for a superfight with Anderson Silva that would give St-Pierre a chance to solidify himself as the greatest fighter in MMA history. However, that goal is being put on hold for this clash with Diaz at UFC 158.

Finally, St-Pierre appears to have let go of the pressure attached to defending his legacy and is now focused more on protecting his ideals and reputation as a fighter not willing to back down from a challenge.

Could that mean a more aggressive and hungry St-Pierre?

We'll have to wait until late on Saturday night to find out just how angry the champion is with Diaz.