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  • UFC 158 Preview: 5 Questions Surrounding the GSP/Diaz Fight Card

    If it feels like you've waited forever to see Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz face off, well, you're not alone.

    We've waited a long time for this fight. And there was a time, back when Diaz was suspended and retired and not coming back to the UFC, that I figured it was going to fall in that category of "dream fights that never came to fruition," right alongside Fedor Emelianenko vs. Randy Couture or Brock Lesnar.

    Diaz came to his senses and decided to continue fighting, and St-Pierre elected to go with the biggest-money fight available to him in the welterweight division instead of facing Johny Hendricks or moving up in weight to face Anderson Silva. So even though the road was a long one, we're finally here: St-Pierre and Diaz will step in the Octagon on Saturday night in Montreal.

    I'll be in Montreal all week providing you with the usual fight week news and nuggets. But for now, let's take a look at five questions surrounding various fighters on the card.

     There's very little question that Georges St-Pierre truly dislikes Nick Diaz. We've known that for quite some time now.

    The question surrounding the fight is this: Will St-Pierre's hatred for everything Diaz represents result in GSP actually trying to finish a fight rather than score a wrestling-based decision?

    I don't know that it will. I hope so, but we've seen instances of St-Pierre having plenty of dislike for his opponents in the past. Josh Koscheck, for example, got under the welterweight champion's skin for a long time leading up to their fight, and yet St-Pierre was content to keep Koscheck grounded for the majority of their UFC 124 fight.

    I can't blame St-Pierre for going after a win in the best way he knows how. He's a rich man with a brand to protect, and much of the popularity of that brand comes from his long reign as champion. In his head, it probably makes more sense to score the win however he can, and if that means wrestling his opponent for five rounds, so be it.

    But we've also spent a lot of time hearing St-Pierre discuss how he's not going to do that anymore, how he's going to go for the finish. And then, after each unanimous decision win, St-Pierre apologizes for not finishing his opponent.

    It's time to stop apologizing and start taking a few risks. If St-Pierre wants to maintain his standing as one of the most popular fighters in the world, he'll need to show the fans that he's willing to do a little bit extra to thank them for paying their hard-earned dollars to watch him fight. And there's no better opponent with which to do that than Diaz.

    This is a situation tailor-made for St-Pierre to put on an exciting fight, because he has a willing opponent that would love nothing more than to stand and trade punches. And on top of that, this is a real grudge match that has the potential to send his hometown Montreal crowd into raptures.

    I would understand if he just wants the win, but I want to see GSP do more than just win. I want to see him excel.

    Can Johny Hendricks make a statement and overcome his biggest test to date?

    By all rights, Johny Hendricks should be competing against Georges St-Pierre in the main event of UFC 158. He's the rightful top contender and is riding a five-fight winning streak, with his last three wins coming over top-10 competition.
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