Georges St-Pierre will look to add yet another well-known name to his illustrious championship resume with an emphatic win over Nick Diaz at UFC 158.
After a well-documented build up that started all the way back in 2010 (h/t Bleacher Report's Jonathan Snowden) St-Pierre will finally get his hands on the brawler from Stockton. Whether or not you believe Diaz has done enough to earn the title shot he's been given, fans should rejoice that this matchup will finally go down.
St-Pierre has been as dominant a champion as there's been outside of Anderson Silva. His reign has included wins over some of the best welterweights in the history of the UFC and he's been champion since 2008.
However, his fight with Diaz will be another animal. With each challenger to GSP's belt, new issues arise. Here's what St-Pierre will have to do to ensure he remains the dominant champion of the welterweight division.
Utilize Wrestling Early
St-Pierre has made his intentions clear throughout the pre-fight hype that he wants to put a beatdown on Diaz. He's tired of constantly being called out by the man and seems determined to prove wrong the doubters who have called him boring.
While it's all well and good that GSP wants to strive for a finish, he needs to build a lead with what he does best. In this case, it's utilizing his wrestling to slam Diaz into the canvas and start piling up the damage via ground and pound.
Diaz wants to stand and slug it out. He makes no bones about that and wants this to be as close to a boxing match as he can get it.
By taking Diaz down early on, St-Pierre can frustrate him. Getting Diaz out of his element in an emotional fight like this one would be a huge advantage.
Georges is being weird right now. Georges isn't close to being Georges.There's no doubt this thing has messed with his head. I just think he's pissed. He's a in a different place than he's ever been because he's mad.
While a little extra aggression may be good for training purposes, it doesn't translate well in the actual fight. GSP is one of the most intelligent and strategic fighters of all time. Fighting with emotion can eliminate that aspect of his game.
Considering that one of the few ways Diaz could win this fight is to lure GSP into a fast-paced boxing match, the champion must avoid that at all costs.
St-Pierre needs to pick his spots and stick to his gameplan.
Go For the Finish
St-Pierre has been accused of playing it safe in the past.
Who can blame him? When you're as dominant as he's been, you're obviously doing something right.
However, this is one fight where he might be better advised to go for the kill if it presents itself. If Diaz has anything going for him, it's a massive gas tank. He simply doesn't get tired and there's no doubt that he'll be able to go five rounds if need be.
Diaz is coming off of a much longer layoff than St-Pierre and rust could be an issue early on. If GSP can put Diaz away early, he won't have to worry about a late-fight surge from the challenger.
Plus it would remind people that GSP is as dominant a champion as the UFC has.