The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) held a pay-per-view (PPV) event headlined by a Welterweight championship fight as last night (March 16, 2013) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, as UFC 158: "St. Pierre vs. Diaz" went down at the Bell Centre.
Georges St. Pierre successfully defended his welterweight title for the eighth time in the main event with a unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz to settle the long time grudge between the two fighters.
In a sport like mixed martial arts (MMA), each bout can only have one winner and one loser. Earning a victory inside the world-famous Octagon is the highest of highs while suffering a defeat in front of millions of viewers can be the lowest of lows.
Every competitor who steps foot in the cage is looking for that moment of glory. Some capture it, others don't.
There were several shining stars on the UFC 158 fight card as well as an equal amount of disappointments. With that said, it's time to name the biggest winner and biggest loser from the event in Montreal.
The Biggest Winner
Taking a fight against an opponent who was coming off a loss to the champion, Johny Hendricks was in a lose-lose situation going into his UFC 158 co-main event fight with Carlos Condit.
That mattered not to "Bigg Rigg," though, as he defeated Condit by unanimous decision in one of the best fights of 2013 thus far. Hendricks did what he had to do in the fight, relying heavily on his wrestling when it was clear even his best shot couldn't knock "The Natural Born Killer" out.
Hendricks and Condit gave it their all for 15-straight minutes, and it's a shame the fight wasn't five rounds because the result may very well have been different. Regardless, Hendricks got the job done and after stringing together four-straight wins against top-10 opponents, it seems the time for him to fight for the belt has finally arrived.
The 29-year-old entered UFC 158 as the No. 1 contender in the welterweight division, and he left the event with the same status, which at the end of the day is all that matters,
It wasn't the most invigorating effort of all time, but UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre put the Nick Diaz chapter of his career behind him with a dominant unanimous decision victory in the UFC 158 main event.
The French-Canadian's performance left no doubt in anyone's mind who was the superior fighter is he outstruke, outwrestled and ultimately outpaced Diaz for the clear-cut win.
While St. Pierre earned a clean sweep on the judge's scorecards, it was far from his best performance as Diaz stuffed multiple takedowns from "Rush" and appeared to slightly frustrated the reigning champion.
Nevertheless, St. Pierre surpassed some major UFC milestones with his win, taking sole possession of the record for most weltweight title defenses at eight and matching Matt Hughes' record for the most victories in history at eight.
Miller has fought massive names of the sport such as Chael Sonnen, Michael Bisping and Nate Marquardt, but none of those men were able to knock out or submit the American. "Young Gun" did it in swift and decisive fashion, though, as he put leather to Miller's chin after surviving an early armbar attempt for a comeback victory.
Mein is an impressive 9-1 in his past ten fights with the lone defeat coming to Tyron Woodley, and at only 23 years old proved why he is a name to keep an eye on at 170-pounds.
The Biggest Loser
Nick Diaz finally had his chance to get his hands on Georges St. Pierre, but he failed to accomplish anything significant against the champion and came out on the wrong end of a lopsided unanimous decision.
There isn't much to say about the Stockton native's performance; in reality, it went as many expected. "Rush" dominated Diaz in the wrestling aspect of the contest, which was the ultimate decider. The former Strikeforce champion's lack of ability to create offense both on the feet and on the back is what cost him the fight.
Many of St. Pierre's opponents have looked worse against the champion, and Diaz must be credited for actually stuffing a few takedowns, but he was nowhere close to winning and had no moments in the fight that would indicate he could do any better in a rematch.
Diaz claimed this could be the end of his MMA career in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, and while it would be a shame to see such a great fighter go now, it's easy to see were Diaz is coming from after such a decisive loss.
After a long and bumpy road back to the UFC, Nate Marquardt could not deliver the goods in his return to the organization as "The Great" was stopped by Jake Ellenberger just three minutes into the first round for only the second stoppage loss due to strikes in his 46-fight career.
Marquardt was coming off a disappointing loss to Tarec Saffiedine in the final Strikeforce event and was looking to re-enter the winner's circle in a big way, but things did not go his way as Ellenberger's power was just too much for Marquardt to overcome.
The 33-year-old is now on the first two-fight losing streak of his 14-year career and with three losses in his past five fights, the future of Marquardt is very much in the air.
Mike Ricci, Colin Fletcher, Chris Camozzi and Nick Ring collectively find themselves as honorable mention for biggest losers of the night for their lackluster bouts to open the UFC 158 main card.
Not taking anything away from the effort put in by all four men, but they were granted a tremendous opportunity to fight on the main card of one of the biggest PPVs of the year, and they certainly could have done more to impress the fans in attendance and those who paid their hard earned money to order the card.
While Ricci and Camozzi get the better of this deal due to the fact they came out on top, it's hard to see anyone clamoring to see any of the four men fight again - let alone pay for it.
Who were your biggest winner and loser from UFC 158? Let us know in the comments in the comment section below.
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