Ghosts of fights past are being resurrected as of late, as Nick Diaz recently claimed that he was "drugged" prior to his Welterweight title fight against former division champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158 back in 2013. His coach later elaborated on the claim, saying that a "Rush" nurse gave Diaz a "strange" substance prior to the bout that caused uncontrollable urination the night before the championship showdown, which may or may not have affected his performance.
Now, one of "GSP'S" coaches — John Danaher — has revealed via Instagram that St-Pierre himself wasn’t 100-percent going into the bout, vomiting profusely the night before after he drank bad watermelon juice. Not to mention he had to deal with additional drama that following evening courtesy of the Diaz camp.
The best laid plans of mice and men: As a coach one of the main aspects of my job is to conceive plans of action that raise the likelihood of an athlete winning an event. Yet despite our best intentions, there is always a good chance of things going awry that require spontaneous change and adaption in the face of unexpected circumstances. All the major MMA fight camps I have been a part of furnished unforeseen incidents and drama that could not have been predicted and which had to be overcome. Probably the most flawless and well run fight camp I ever saw was that of Georges St-Pierre in preparation for Nick Diaz (Interestingly, his prior fight camp with Carlos Condit was probably the worst). We had an excellent game plan, the physical preparation was excellent, superb choice of sparring partners, all match contingencies covered, no injuries, no backstage drama, perfect weight cut - everything was perfect - until the very night before the fight when Georges drank some watermelon juice for rehydration that had been too long out of the fridge and got a badly upset stomach. He spent the entire night vomiting. It was so sad to see such a perfect camp get ruined at the last minute by such a minor oversight. The night of the fight, Mr St-Pierre came in underweight and drained. We had to curtail the warm up for fear of exhausting him before the bout even began. There was some drama with Mr Diaz's camp insisting that both sides have their hand wraps double checked. This was done, but we did not want them to see how bad Mr St-Pierre looked, so he had to put on an act of confidence and vigor when they came in the dressing room. In the end, Mr St-Pierre showed why he was a great champion that night, putting on a dominant shut-out performance to win a unanimous decision - no one in the audience would have guessed how serious a problem he had to overcome. He used a system of pacing the rounds and timing the takedowns and allowing standing escapes to maintain the pace of the fight whilst controlling the action but at the same time, not exhausting himself. It worked brilliantly and the problem was overcome. This kind of adaptation is crucial in fight preparation at all levels.
The real question is: Why are all of these issues being brought up three years after the fact? Could it be a ploy to drum up interest for a potential rematch? "Rush" has already committed to a mixed martial arts (MMA) comeback, while Diaz is free and clear to accept a fight.
While a title fight against Woodley would be great for St-Pierre, there is no denying that a rematch against a "needle mover" like the Stockton slugger would do just as well — if not better — at the box office. Plus, St-Pierre could be the "superstar" Diaz needs to prevent him from going to boxing. Especially if they decide to tango in New York’s Madison Square Garden at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, 2016.