GSP vs. Diaz: What Went Wrong for Nick Diaz at UFC 158
Let's be realistic here: nothing that went wrong for Nick Diaz at UFC 158 surprised people.
He isn't a better wrestler than Georges St-Pierre.
He isn't a better kickboxer than Georges St-Pierre.
He isn't better at winning fights in the current rule structure of MMA than Georges St-Pierre.
So when all that stuff added up to a Diaz loss Saturday night in Montreal, it wasn't really a shock. Nonetheless, it's all stuff that went wrong for him.
Diaz struggled mightily with the takedowns of St-Pierre, something basically everyone who fights the champion can claim. He repeatedly gave up his back and tried to roll through to guard, but GSP's control from the position was too much for the challenger.
On the feet, Diaz tried to stalk down the champion and put together combinations, but he couldn't. St-Pierre controlled the distance and used his jab to keep him off balance, throwing in leg kicks to soften him up along the way.
The fact that St-Pierre didn't seem keen on seeking a finish is largely irrelevant. He did everything that he's good at, which happens to be everything Diaz is bad at, and he won the fight.
It was a wash from the outset. Stylistically, it was a nightmare for the challenger and everyone knew it. Physically he was outmatched as well, as when the two stood face-to-face it looked like St-Pierre was in another weight class.
Sure, now with some time to think it over, Diaz believes he could go back and beat the champion. It's that born fighter, that inherent belief that he's the best in the world and losses are simply the cause of a sport out to get him, that makes people love the guy. Or at least pay attention to everything he says and does.
But the reality is that he can't win that fight. Not at UFC 158, not in a year, not with a lifetime to get ready for it. Never.
It's the worst matchup in MMA for him: the sport's best wrestler, sharpest mind, and most disciplined tactician. It's everything that Diaz himself isn't, and it's everything he's repeatedly shown to have great trouble with.
To put it simply, Nick Diaz had absolutely nothing for Georges St-Pierre. That's what went wrong for him.
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