For the first time, as far back as I can remember, GSP is noticeably angry. So much, that his usual, “…this is going to be my toughest challange yet…” rhetoric has been supplanted with other more acerbic rhetoric going as far as calling Diaz an uneducated fool. It appears, Diaz has successfully gotten inside of GSP’s head. It goes without saying this fight is significant.
UFC 158 is a great welterweight card with one-punch-knockout-power having wrestler Johny Hendricks facing the the very technical striker Carlos Condit. Condit, also has knock out power of his own in all four limbs. A personal favorite of mine Nate “The Great” Marquardt returns to the UFC to meet up with Jake Ellenberger. This main card has a lot of potential to have some wonderful display of technique, athleticism, and good old fashioned violence! If you happen to want to try your luck on UFC, Check out available UFC Odds and place your bet on your favorite player.
The Under Card:
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Issei Tamura
Rick Story vs. Quinn Mulhern
Daron Cruickshank vs. John Makdessi
Jordan Mein vs. Dan Miller
Darren Elkins vs. Antonio Carvalho
Reuben Duran vs. George Roop
Patrick Cote vs. Bobby Voelker
I’m going to go ahead and toot my own horn: the last predictions article I said Cruickshank would annihilate Henry Martinez, and that knockout was a major can of whoop-ass, but it’s hard to forget his boring win over Chris Tickle. In addition, Martinez IS a slouch on his feet. Makdessi’s counter-striking looked absolutely brilliant against Sam Stout, especially that killer jab, and for once he is actually the same height as his opponent. Cruickshank is flashy, but Makdessi has shown better fundamentals and sufficiently-solid takedown defense to take Cruickshank’s grappling out of the picture. This is a toss up. I’ll go with Cruickshank because he’s got a chip on his shoulder for having a terrible surname.
Duran’s recent bout with Hugo Viana could only have gone worse if Reuben had tripped and broken his neck on the Octagon steps Million Dollar Baby style during his walk-in, but considering his solid performances against quality talent in Takeya Mizugaki and Francisco Rivera, I’m willing to chalk that up to ring rust. And even if that isn’t the case, Roop is still an awkward, slow striker killing himself with a useless weight cut. Duran is going to lay the smack down.
Although Cote’s performances against Cung Le and Alessio Sakara was not impressive to say the least, let us not forget this is the man who made a run at the 185 lb title and was the only person thus far who stood and banged with Anderson Silva AND held his own. BUT, he’s making a weight cut, perhaps out of desperation or to give his career a reset, not out of being legitimately too small for 185 pounds. Also, he got chin checked for the first time in his career, which isn’t good for someone who looked seriously gun shy a couple fights ago and who is fighting a concussion machine in Voelker. With all that said, Cote appears to be doing all the right things to prepare himself for war. And, he just went through a camp at the same time GSP did, which means he got to experience some serious training and sparring to prepare himself. I think his mind will be right and we will be impressed with his performance. Sorry, I had to.
The Main Card:
Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit
Jake Ellenberger vs. Nate Marquardt
Nick Ring vs. Chris Camozzi (Toss up, no pick)
Mike Ricci vs. Colin Fletcher
Here’s a short history of the feud between GSP and Diaz. I firmly believe GSP will be putting on a double leg clinic. He’ll also show what type of performance he can put on when he is very determined to inflict maximum punishment. You will see the GSP that showed up against BJ Penn (the second fight) and Dan Hardy. GSP is going to fully exploit all of Nick’s weaknesses to the maximum extent. An angry Georges doesn’t brawl, rather, ironically, he is more calculating and precise. I think this is going to be a very very bad night for Diaz. I predict GSP will finish Diaz with ground and pound in the 4th round. Hell, you may see him submit Diaz after dazing him with cumulative punishment. For those of you thinking Diaz has a shot at submitting GSP, let us remember that GSP regularly trains with ‘top of the food chain’ bjj black belts such as Braulio Estima and Roger Gracie. One last prediction: Nick Diaz retires after this fight.
The two other welterweight fights are going to be much more competitive. I see Hendricks winning a grinding war against Condit by decision. Condit is the more technical and varied striker and undoubtedly has a superior submission game, but I just can’t picture him beating someone with Hendricks’ wrestling pedigree. Literally everyone who has wanted to take down Condit in the UFC has gotten him down, even Nick “Ban Wrestling” Diaz, and I have every reason to believe “Bigg Rigg” can drag him down any time things get too hairy on the feet.
Marquardt is a machine at 170. His mangling of Tyron Woodley was awesome. And, I suspect his cut to 170 will be much more tactful this time around. However, Ellenberger is a very very dangerous fighter who should not be taken lightly. I give the slight edge to Marquardt here, perhaps because I am biased, but this is going to be a rough fight for both of them. I believe this fight will not go the full three rounds. I see a TKO coming a mile away.
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GSP vs Diaz: Gsp by decision. A big fan of both of them but the style does not match for Diaz.
Condit vs Hendricks: Hendricks is a tough, mean and scary dude! With great technique. Condit is a beast to and as he trains at GB Albuquerque his BJJ gotta go with him : )
Ellenberger vs Marquart: depend on what Marquat shows up. But I think Marquat by dec.
Ring vs Camozzi: Camozzi by decision
Ricci vs Fletcher: don’t know them.