5 Reasons You Can't Miss UFC 158: GSP vs. Diaz
UFC 158 features everything a fight fan craves.
From a championship fight to a No. 1 contender fight to a matchup guaranteed to be an all-out slugfest, the event will showcase all facets of mixed martial arts at the highest level.
This is a card well worth the $55 pay-per-view cost (on paper), and even casual fans would be wise to tune their televisions to the UFC's latest marquee event at 10 p.m. ET Saturday for UFC 158.
Check out the top five reasons why you just can't miss UFC 158.
A Matchup of Former Ultimate Fighters
If you tuned in to The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes, you grew to like Colin Fletcher—you just had to.
At first, his crazed appearance and lunatic demeanor was a bit unsettling, but as the season progressed, Fletcher opened up as an incredibly funny and nice guy who happened to be a sensational fighter as well.
Fletcher went on make the finals of The Ultimate Fighter, where he lost to his Team Britain teammate Norman Parke.
Mike Ricci, Fletcher's opponent at UFC 158, boasts an identical backstory.
But Ricci could not be more different.
Referred to as an "accountant" on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson, Ricci looked more like a businessman than a fighter.
Looks can deceive, of course, and Ricci immediately won fans over with his powerful, aggressive striking.
Like Fletcher, Ricci made it to the finale but came up short against a more dominant grappler in Colton Smith.
Now in his more natural weight class at lightweight, Ricci looks to take on his brother from another mother (England) in a matchup that promises to satisfy.
Cinderblock Fist, Meet Iron Jaw
I'm an MMA nerd.
I watch the weigh-ins, and I care about whether or not a fighter makes weight and how comfortably he or she does so.
When Patrick Cote took the scales at the UFC 158 weigh-ins, my sister and my girlfriend both swooned, "Ooohhh, who is that?!"
Already knowing they both admired Georges St-Pierre, I immediately drove to Canada and worked to become a French-Canadian mixed martial artist.
Apparently, that's what the ladies like.
Cote looks incredible at welterweight, and his fight with Bobby Voelker boasts serious Fight of the Night potential.
Two strikers with otherworldly chins, I fully expect Cote and Voelker to stand toe-to-toe and throw leather for the bout's duration.
If you didn't already plan on watching the preliminary fights on FX, this fight gives you every reason to do so.
If Cote's chin holds up the same at 170, we are in for a treat.
The Unlikely Return of Nate Marquardt
OK Dana, maybe you're not "done with Nate" after all.
Despite his banishment from the organization after a failed drug test at UFC on Versus 4 (remember when the UFC was on Versus, by the way? Good times.), Marquardt finds himself on the world's grandest stage once again at UFC 158.
Taking on Jake Ellenberger after a mostly successful stint in Strikeforce, Marquardt needs a win to return to the UFC's good graces and to prove he is still among the best fighters in the world.
If I'm a betting man, I'm taking Mr. Ellenberger all day, but the return of Marquardt provides a juicy storyline and an intriguing matchup that adds to the allure of UFC 158's main card.
Dat Co-Main Event
In my perfect world, Johny Hendricks takes on Georges St-Pierre in the main event at UFC 158, while Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit take part in a rematch for the ages to determine the next welterweight in line for the title shot.
I'm such a dreamer.
Despite a ridiculous five-fight winning streak over amazing competition, Hendricks has yet to be offered an official title shot, but that can all change with one flick of his monstrous left hand at UFC 158.
If Hendricks can defeat Condit at UFC 158, no reasonable man could deny him a championship fight in his next outing.
Carlos Condit, however, will not just lay down and let Hendricks capture all the glory.
Condit is a gamer, he's incredibly tough and he is the more well-rounded and experienced fighter in this matchup, and that spells doom for Hendricks.
I personally think Condit will spoil Hendricks' plans, but with his punching power and wrestling base, "Big Rigg" is more than capable of flattening "The Natural Born Killer."
This fight could easily stand as a main event on a lesser card, but as it is, we have an even higher-profile matchup still to come...
It's Time to Settle the Score
If you were not already sold on UFC 158, consider the main event.
It is more than a title fight, more than "just another GSP fight" and more than a grudge match.
These two could not have more different personalities, and the Stockton Bad Boy Diaz managed to get under GSP's skin time and time again in the lead-up to this fight.
This fight is like Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (I or II, choose your favorite), with the volume cranked past 11 because of the legitimacy of the fighters' disdain for each other.
If Nick Diaz wins—and don't kid yourself, he can—the entire UFC organization will feel the upset, and the MMA world will explode with mixed feelings of delight, hate, disappointment and criticism.
Even if you have never watched a fight in your life, this is the time to start.
For fans of MMA, heavy metal or general absurdity, Follow @HunterAHomistek