With Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz back in the UFC mix, the time may be right for the UFC to throw the two very popular welterweights into the octagon for a second go-round.
The first time the two fought it was on a freezing cold March night in Montreal in 2013. That fight, the main event of UFC 158, was won by then welterweight champion St-Pierre, who cruised to a unanimous-decision win, taking each of the five rounds.
Diaz recently claimed that he had been drugged prior to the fight and one of St-Pierre’s coaches said that St-Pierre was unwell himself that night.
The best laid plans of mice and men: As a coach one of the main aspects of my job is to conceive plans of action that raise the likelihood of an athlete winning an event. Yet despite our best intentions, there is always a good chance of things going awry that require spontaneous change and adaption in the face of unexpected circumstances. All the major MMA fight camps I have been a part of furnished unforeseen incidents and drama that could not have been predicted and which had to be overcome. Probably the most flawless and well run fight camp I ever saw was that of Georges St-Pierre in preparation for Nick Diaz (Interestingly, his prior fight camp with Carlos Condit was probably the worst). We had an excellent game plan, the physical preparation was excellent, superb choice of sparring partners, all match contingencies covered, no injuries, no backstage drama, perfect weight cut – everything was perfect – until the very night before the fight when Georges drank some watermelon juice for rehydration that had been too long out of the fridge and got a badly upset stomach. He spent the entire night vomiting. It was so sad to see such a perfect camp get ruined at the last minute by such a minor oversight. The night of the fight, Mr St-Pierre came in underweight and drained. We had to curtail the warm up for fear of exhausting him before the bout even began. There was some drama with Mr Diaz's camp insisting that both sides have their hand wraps double checked. This was done, but we did not want them to see how bad Mr St-Pierre looked, so he had to put on an act of confidence and vigor when they came in the dressing room. In the end, Mr St-Pierre showed why he was a great champion that night, putting on a dominant shut-out performance to win a unanimous decision – no one in the audience would have guessed how serious a problem he had to overcome. He used a system of pacing the rounds and timing the takedowns and allowing standing escapes to maintain the pace of the fight whilst controlling the action but at the same time, not exhausting himself. It worked brilliantly and the problem was overcome. This kind of adaptation is crucial in fight preparation at all levels.
If the UFC is thinking about booking the fight, at least one of the combatants is very interested.
"I wouldn't mind, I'm not afraid of Nick Diaz, I'll tell you. I am telling you right now—if it's what the fans want to see, I'm in,” St-Pierre told BloodyElbow.
"I beat him last time easily, but I was not happy—it's one of these fights that I'm not happy with, because I didn't feel like I gave enough, for different reasons. It left me angry that fight, when I look back at it—maybe I won, but for some reason it left me angry and I feel like I could have done so much better."
With St-Pierre four months away from being able to fight again inside the octagon, the UFC would have a long time to promote this bout, and with the interest the promotion seems to have in “money fights” right now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this one announced for sometime late in 2016.