Heading into UFC 158
the narrative wrote itself. The reigning champion George St. Pierre entered in as the fan favorite. The eloquent, debonaire clean cut Canadian is a PPV machine and hasn't had a legitimate threat to his throne in 5 years. His latest challenger comes in the form of Caesar Gracie pupil Nick Diaz
. Diaz for all intents and purposes is the anti-St. Pierre. Nick Diaz lacks all the social grace of a George St. Pierre and in the words of Mayhem Miller speaks "mumbling gibberish" rather than English. The trash talking , weed smoking, bird flipping Thug from the 2 0 9 is a ready made villain Champion. A villain that the Champion has decided must be taught a lesson in the form of the worst beating ever seen in the UFC.
As the epic conference call raged on something interesting happened. At some point during the chaotic profanity laced tirades of Nick Diaz he began to raise questions. Valid questions. Why is he being portrayed as the villain when in fact GSP is far less accessible to his fans. Why is the guy who puts on fights the people want to see looked at as the bad guy while the prima donna status quo is seen as the good guy. The obvious reason is because it's much easier to see his warts. He is far less proficient at hiding them, while George on the other hand is a master.
Nick Diaz curses like a drunken sailor, wears hoodies to media events and at times has a hard time completing simple sentences. The casual observer could spot this guy out of lineup as the guy who grew up in Stockton California (not a very nice place). But there is something about this guy. Put a live Mic in front of this dude and it becomes Pipe Bomb. I find my self hinging on his very word. Love him or hate him you know you are getting a look at e real Nick Diaz, if for no other reason than he doesn't know how to hide.
George St. Pierre on the other hand is a master of disguise. He always looks the part, says the right thing, and most importantly generates revenue. At first glance he IS the hero. In a recent minor scandal word got out that George St. Pierre doesn't actually operate his own twitter. He has become increasingly more vocal about his disdain of the media and Nick Diaz has begun to paint a picture of a George St. Pierre as someone that lives his life in an ivory tower not mixing with the average common folk. As a fighter who does not give fans their money money's worth. As a man who uses brute strength and dull wrestling skills to out point foes rather than attempting to use true martial arts and finish fights. This guy we so quick to label hero could give a damn about the $60 bucks spent to watch him fight or the $100 you paid to be there live. Quite frankly despite what his handlers have trained him to say his actions prove that he really doesn't care about the fans.
When pressed about these allegations the bullet proof facade of George St. Pierre began to crack. This new George St. Pierre has eluded to having a dark place that we the watching public are not aware of. If this is true why have we not been introduced to this side of GSP. Why have been presented with this altruistic do-gooder? And why when asked about the comment did he have no recollection of actually saying it. A clearly agitated George St. Pierre's facial expressions during the most recent press conference where very telling. Nick Diaz had gotten under his skin. His voice noticeably cracked as he discussed the allegations of potential steroid use. Here's a fun fact no fighter has ever tested positive for anything in the province of Quebec.
Though belligerent Nicholas Diaz had a case and stated it well. Ok maybe he didn't state it well but if you tear through the veneer of hostility the case is there to be made. He is the lower middle class kid that didn't fit in at school. Was too awkward to ask the pretty girls out to the prom. He is the ultra sensitive guy that lashed out to keep people at bay because was afraid to be hurt.
Nick Diaz isn't violent person but rather a person who found a way to make a living in a violent profession. He is fully aware of the fact He doesn't know how to say the right things. He doesn't have any delusions that he'll be gracing the cover of GQ magazine in the near future. He doesn't have a stylist, hell for all he knows he'll be cut after this fight.To him GSP is the cool rich kid in the letterman jacket. The guy that has the life he's always wanted but was never able to live.
Nick Diaz spoke and gave voice to each and every fan out there who curses the Leg humping wrestler that brings fights to stall. He's called for much needed changes to the way fights are scored.
We are seeing a different George St. Pierre. A George St. Pierre that doesn't take the high road. A George St.. Pierre who openly questions to intelligence of his opponent. A fighting diva far too busy with being GSP, to be bothered with interacting with his legion of fans.
At the weigh-ins the smart money would have been for @nickdiaz209 to be booed out of the venue however we saw an unexpectedly neutral reaction.
So is Nick Diaz actually the hero and GSP the villain? The truth I believe is somewhere in the middle.
Dana White is selling you woof tickets. The UFC is selling you Woof tickets. And you are eating them up.