With great power comes great responsibility.
I think Spiderman said that once, and it applies perfectly to welterweight superstar Georges St-Pierre's situation leading into his fight with Nick Diaz at UFC 158.
GSP has ruled the 170-pound division since the dawn of time it feels, and he has done so with an unflappable grace and skill.
Ladies and gentlemen, he finally cracked. It may not be a compound fracture, but there is an undeniable hairline crevice scrawled across GSP's normally serious demeanor.
Nick Diaz, through his many verbal jabs and his overall unpleasant demeanor, crawled under GSP's skin and made a cozy bed of vitriol and hate.
GSP does not enjoy this uninvited parasitic relationship, but I love it.
Diaz shook the unshakable man, and I sincerely think GSP will enter this bout more determined than ever to harm his opponent.
Should he get overaggressive and pursue Diaz with an unbridled enthusiasm, though, GSP's kingdom will fall, and everything he worked so hard to construct and to maintain will go up in smoke (yes, I know the expression is "go up in flames," but this is Nick Diaz we're talking about, people).
GSP stands as the UFC's poster boy, its finest representative and the perfect blend of company man and invincible champion.
He is a true superstar, and his talents extend far beyond the Octagon with his many endorsements and celebrity appearances.
He is "the guy" right now for the UFC, and Diaz can topple that with one punch, one submission or one perfectly executed game plan.
To be fair, GSP's style matches up perfectly with Diaz, and many feel the champion should retain his title in this fight, but this is MMA. Anything can happen at any time, and the unpredictability of this sport is why we continue to tune in.
With so much at stake—so much that goes beyond a normal title fight—GSP feels the pressure right now, and it is immense.
I guarantee you that.
Yes, the opportunity is huge for Nick Diaz, and it is huge for every other fighter on the card. Every fight matters, and one loss can ruin a fighter's career.
Nobody on the UFC 158 fight card can relate to what is at stake for GSP in this fight, though.
He is on another level both inside and outside of the Octagon, and this great power serves up a responsibility laden with pressure and high expectations.
Will he triumph or will he burn to ash?