Numbers might not tell the whole story of any given fight, but sometimes they do tell quite a lot. And in the case of Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz, the Fightmetric numbers paint a pretty accurate picture of how the action went down.
What is most interesting about the digits is not GSP's output, nor the discrepancy between his connections and Diaz's, but instead, how little offense Diaz mounted. He is a volume striker by trade, yet he only mustered 136 significant strike attempts, connecting on just 41 of them.
The last time Diaz landed less than 100 significant strikes in a fight that went longer than one round was in 2009, when he fought Frank Shamrock.
Diaz's paltry output accurately illustrates how well St-Pierre shut him down and controlled the action, which resulted in a very one-sided decision.
St-Pierre landed 12 significant strikes to Diaz's one. That GSP took essentially no damage was a product of three takedowns, which resulted in extended periods of ground control.
That was pretty much the theme of the night, though the trend softened a little as the action wore on.
Diaz tripled his output in the second, landing three significant strikes. He was taken down just once, but that was only because St-Pierre was able to hold him down for the majority of the round on his first try.
St-Pierre's output also increased—he landed 18 significant strikes—keeping his significant edge and taking a firm hold on the scorecards.
The third marked a stark improvement for Diaz, who mounted 15 significant strikes. St-Pierre landed 28 of his own, but at least Diaz got some kind of offense going.
He was able to do so because he prevented the takedown, stuffing three of five attempts launched against him. As importantly, he was able to get back to his feet when he was dragged down, and he opened up on the feet, landing a mix of leg kicks, jabs and hooks.
Though the numbers still greatly favor GSP in Round 3, at least they are indicative of a fight more than a mugging.
The fourth was similar to the third in that Diaz stuffed three of five shots and parlayed these defensive stands into offensive attacks. But once again, they did not match up to those initiated by St-Pierre.
GSP's 24 significant strikes far exceeded Diaz's 11, securing him yet another round and accurately reflecting his continued, if lessened, dominance.
The fifth was a continuation of the third and fourth frames, Diaz amassing some semblance of offense, but St-Pierre more than doubling the return. With a 23-11 edge in the final round's significant strikes column, the Canadian sealed the deal.
St-Pierre was content to stand for much of the fifth, attempting just two takedowns, landing only one. He got the better of the exchanges, though, so in terms of strikes, Round 5 fits in with the others seamlessly.
St-Pierre nearly tripled Diaz in significant strikes, largely because he spent so much time on top of him. That's typical of a GSP fight, but it was truly impressive how effectively he shut down such an active opponent.
It was certainly a frustrating night for Diaz, who mounted very little offense. In fact, it's a little surprising that the numbers were even as close as they are.
In the end, it went very much like most fans expected, and the numbers look a lot like many fans would have guessed they would.
Not surprising then, but impressive all the same.