The anticipation for the UFC 158 main event between Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz was so high that anything short of being the best fight in the history of the sport would not be able to match it.
While it wasn't the best fight in the history of mixed martial arts, it was just the latest showcase for the seemingly unstoppable force that is Georges St-Pierre. The welterweight champion has now tied Matt Hughes for the most wins in UFC history (18), and he did it with five fewer fights on his resume.
As we start to look ahead for what St-Pierre and Diaz are going to do, here are our biggest takeaways from the UFC 158 main event.
St-Pierre is the best all-around fighter in the sport
As great as Anderson Silva and Jon Jones are, they do have obvious weaknesses that can be exploited. Silva is so fast that he can hide his deficiencies; then, when he strikes, you are going to go down hard. Jones is the best pure athlete the sport of mixed martial arts has ever seen.
What makes St-Pierre so dangerous, aside from his natural athletic talents, is the way he has made a point to evolve as a fighter. This sport is constantly changing, with new and inventive styles that change everything you have to do in order to be successful.
St-Pierre has taken to all of them and now uses them to his advantage. He can take control a fight if he wants to, or, if his opponent is strong in one area, St-Pierre will take that away by using that to his advantage.
Josh Koscheck wanted to box with St-Pierre in their second fight, so St-Pierre just jabbed Koscheck's eye until he broke it. Diaz wanted to work the fight on the ground, so St-Pierre went down there and dominated.
Any way you try to defeat St-Pierre, he is going to figure it out and turn it into a strength for himself. No other fighter in the world can match his all-around skills.
Nick Diaz isn't in the elite category of welterweight fighters
Even though Diaz was brought on board to sell a big-money fight with St-Pierre and was able to do just that after two years of headaches he caused Dana White, it has been made abundantly clear that the welterweight division in UFC has passed him by.
This isn't all about Diaz losing to St-Pierre, because it's not like he is the first person to lose to the champion in dominating fashion. But when you look at his performance here, combined with what he did against Carlos Condit last February, Diaz is in the tier below the top contenders.
In fact, you look at Diaz's resume, and it is hard to come up with the last time he had a really great win. He defeated B.J. Penn in his return to UFC, but Penn is clearly not the fighter he once was.
Going back to his time in Strikeforce, you would have to go back to October 2010, when Diaz defeated K.J. Noons, to find the last really good win on his resume. After that he defeated Cyborg Santos and Paul Daley before moving to UFC.
It has become clear that St-Pierre, Condit and Johny Hendricks are far superior in talent to Diaz at this stage of their respective careers.
Don't try to sell a rematch
Dana White said that the winner of the Condit-Hendricks fight at UFC 158 would be the No. 1 contender for St-Pierre's title.
Hendricks wound up winning a terrific, exciting fight. White held true to his word, saying at the post-fight press conference (h/t UFC on Twitter) that Hendricks was getting the next title shot, no questions asked.
Dana: "Hendricks is the number-one contender. Done."2013-3-17 05:39:16
However, at the same press conference, Diaz tried to say that the only way he was going to fight again would be if he got a fight against St-Pierre.
Nick post-fight: “I am trying to retire but I want a rematch. I don’t want to fight any of these young kids but I will fight GSP again.”2013-3-17 05:38:30
From a financial standpoint, it is understandable why Diaz would want to fight St-Pierre again. You are going to make more money in the main event of a show headlined by the biggest drawing card the company has than against anyone else.
But Diaz has done nothing to warrant another title shot for a long, long time. St-Pierre thoroughly beat him down over the course of five rounds. It wasn't like the fight was so great that you need to see it happen again.
UFC is smart enough to know that there is no money in a rematch, but even if Diaz were to win his next fight or two, putting him back in the title picture would be a big waste of time. It also doesn't help that St-Pierre and Diaz were hugging and acting friendly after the match.
This was supposed to be a serious blood feud. But when you are saying nice things about each other after it is over, you have just told the world not to believe anything you might say about the other person moving forward.