Two years of buzz and hype are now in the books, fight fans are finally getting treated to a Nick Diaz vs. Georges St-Pierre title fight at UFC 158.
MMA's consummate poster man (St-Pierre) will take on the UFC's consummate villain (Diaz) in a clash of styles and personalities both inside and outside of the Octagon.
Lost in all of the hype that comes with pre-fight talk is the fact that this is a fascinating matchup in the cage. GSP is the most calculating and tactical fighter in the sport. Diaz loves a good old-fashioned brawl.
Will GSP oblige Diaz in a stand-up war? Can Diaz work to his feet if taken down? Will we see GSP finish a fight? Did Diaz get enough sleep?
Here's a look at the night's main attraction, including the latest odds from Bovada and a prediction.
Moneyline Odds: Georges St-Pierre -500, Nick Diaz +350
Unsurprisingly, GSP comes in as a fairly heavy favorite to the betting public. That's what happens when you haven't lost since 2007.
Passionate Diaz fans would like to point out that he brings something different to the table. His cardio, unique style and pace are different than anything St-Pierre has ever seen in the cage, but the fact still remains that St-Pierre is one of the most unbeatable athletes in the sport.
The two prop bets that are intriguing are GSP inside of five rounds (+290) and Diaz by submission (7/1), but they aren't the most likely thing to happen.
St-Pierre could prove that he really is going to give Diaz a beatdown and finish the fight. We haven't seen him earn anything other than a decision win since earning a corner stoppage over B.J. Penn in 2009 and he hasn't had a true stoppage victory since winning the title in 2008 against Matt Serra.
St-Pierre has been criticized for not finishing fights in the past and Diaz's trash talk may be just the thing that pushes him to finish the fight.
The other prop bet—and one that is admittedly not likely—is Diaz by submission. Much has been made about Diaz's striking, but it's actually much more likely that he catches GSP in a submission if he pulls off the upset.
Of Diaz's last five wins that have come by way of stoppage, three of them have come by way of submission. While his boxing is great, his jiu-jitsu gets lost in the shuffle sometimes. There's a good chance GSP spends the majority of this fight on the ground and in control on top.
If Diaz is going to win, he'll have to catch St-Pierre on the ground.
All betting possibilities aside, the smartest money is on GSP doing what GSP does best.
There's no doubt that Diaz is in St-Pierre's head to an extent, but the odds that means victory for the UFC's challenger are slim.
St-Pierre is a calculating fighter that owes his success to his mental prowess as much as his incredible athleticism. Diaz has the kind of style and bizarre antics to make this an interesting fight. But to expect anything more than another display of the champions dominance for five rounds may result in disappointment.
St-Pierre via Unanimous Decision