UFC 158: "St. Pierre vs. Diaz" goes down this Saturday night (March 16, 2013) from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The event is headlined by one of the most anticipated Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title bouts in history as Georges St. Pierre puts his belt on the line for the eighth time against heated rival Nick Diaz.
Supporting the main event is another extremely crucial bout in the 170-pound rankings, as No. 1 and No. 2 ranked welterweights Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit are scheduled to meet in a bout that will likely decide who faces the winner of St. Pierre vs. Diaz for the belt.
With the top two bouts on the UFC 158 fight card garnering a lot of attention from both fans and media, it's time to break down what --besides a paycheck-- a victory in "The Great White North" on Saturday means for the four athletes carrying UFC 158.
Georges St. Pierre
Saturday's fight is a monumental one for the career of Georges St. Pierre. After nearly two years of waiting, "Rush" will finally get a chance to put his hands on arch nemesis Nick Diaz in his home town of Montreal.
Should he defeat Diaz at UFC 158, St. Pierre will likely take on Johny Hendricks or Carlos Condit, who face off in the night's co-main event at UFC 158. Many believe Hendricks was the one who should be challenging St. Pierre for the gold at the upcoming event, but "Rush" opted to fight Diaz instead, leaving Hendricks with no choice other than to continuing fighting.
St. Pierre is currently tied with UFC Hall-of-Fame inductee Matt Hughes for the most total welterweight title defenses in UFC history at seven, and should the French-Canadian defeat Diaz at the Bell Centre, he will stand alone with the record, truly solidifying his place as the greatest 170-pound fighter in UFC history.
Holding the record leaves the door open for the 31-year-old to either continuing fighting in his weight class against the top contenders or possibly move up for the looming superfight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
While a lot is on the line for St. Pierre at UFC 158, Nick Diaz has the chance to shock the world by becoming just the third man in history to defeat Georges St. Pierre in what could only be defined as a stunning upset.
St. Pierre has sat comfortably atop the welterweight ranks for years now; however, Diaz believes he is the man to knock the French-Canadian off his perch and start a new reign of terror as the only man in modern history to hold world championship belts in Strikeforce and the UFC.
Considering his unique personality, Diaz as UFC champion would certainly be an intriguing storyline to follow. If UFC President Dana White has trouble keeping the Stockton native under wraps now, the added obligations of being champion would make things extremely interesting.
What does a win at UFC 158 mean for Nick Diaz? It means a world where he is the No. 1 ranked fighter in his weight class and a UFC champion. Buckle up for the ride.
The UFC made it official at Thursday's (March 14, 2013) pre-fight press conference; hard-hitting wrestler Johny Hendricks will get a title shot if he defeats Carlos Condit in the UFC 158 co-main event.
Hendricks has been a top-ranked welterweight for some time now, and has been viewed as a future title challenger since his shocking 12-second knockout of Jon Fitch in December 2011. Hendricks' combination of crippling knockout power and high-level wrestling presents an extremely dangerous threat to any opponent who shares the cage with him.
The 29-year-old is being granted a tremendous opportunity and his character will be unveiled in a pressure filled bout in the co-main event of one of the biggest pay-per-view cards of the year.
On a realistic note, Hendricks should be cheering for Diaz to win in the main event because that greatly increases him chances of getting a title shot. Diaz will defend the belt immediately if he wins while St. Pierre could make an unpredictable move like fight outside the weight class, which would put the belt on hold for quite some time.
There's no debating Hendricks deserves a title shot if he defeats Condit. If he's successful, that's exactly what he'll get.
"The Natural Born Killer" Carlos Condit has the chance to spoil everything written above by taking out Johny Hendricks to once again become the No. 1 contender in the UFC welterweight division just once fight removed from a loss to Georges St. Pierre last November.
Condit was originally scheduled to fight Rory MacDonald at UFC 158; but when "Ares" went down with an injury, the UFC was in need of a co-main event and Hendricks filled the roll.
Coming off the loss to St. Pierre, there isn't a huge amount of pressure on Condit at UFC 158. All eyes are on his opponent which gives the 28-year-old an opportunity to steal some thunder from "Bigg Rigg."
Everyone has been hyping up Hendricks as the next welterweight title challenger, but if Condit can pull off the win, he will slide right back into the No. 1 contender spot.