UFC 158 Montreal Road Diary: Hipsters, Diaz's final stand, GSPx3
Thursday, 14 March 2013 06:41
By Josh Nason
You would be hard pressed to find two more different events this week than SXSW and UFC 158.
At one, tight jean clad hipsters trying way too hard to stand out while pretending they don't want to. At the other, mostly tight shirt clad white guys who don't care about standing out, but usually do in a crowd of non-MMA folk. One has beards and flannel. The other has bald heads and Affliction t-shirts. (Maybe they are similar? I digress.)
After a near three-day sojourn to Texas to help promote a company event, I arrived Wednesday night in Montreal to help cover UFC 158 for Team Observer, otherwise known as #TeamBrave.
Another big difference between Austin and Montreal? The weather. It's a crisp 20 degrees and lightly snowing this morning.
The reason we are all here this week is a fight that was originally supposed to happen last fall, but was revived for the sake of, well, money: Welterweight Champion GSP vs. Nick Diaz.
While it's fairly universal opinion that Diaz hasn't earned the title shot he's getting, there's no turning back now. And thanks to a much-hyped conference call from a week ago
, interest has been revived.
The UFC may not have a ton of these big money matches left, but you get a feeling that with a loss, the end of Diaz as a viable contender Zuffa is willing to put up with is over. There have already been incidents, notably him no-showing Wednesday's workouts due to what he is claiming was a late flight. You've heard about him missing video shoots. Nick's narrative is getting dull and he's got one last shot to sharpen it.
For GSP, there's a legit chance he could finally fight three times in a calendar year for the first time since 2007 and the first time he's fought three times in a 12-month stretch since Jon Fitch/B.J. Penn/Thiago Alves from August 2008 - July 2009.
Perhaps this era is over, but
it would be good to get the top guys working again three times a year. Champions aren't defending more than twice a year and at times, less than that. Due to a mix of injuries and financial stability, the sense of urgency just doesn't seem to be there.
It's a 'duh' statement, but the UFC is always better with regular appearances from its champions. Here's hoping Saturday is the first of several GSP fights in '13.
pre-fight press conference streamed live
at 1 PM EST, followed by 'the Dana scrum' which we'll have video of later. The big question: will Diaz show up today?Josh Nason is in Montreal all week, covering UFC 158 for Wrestling Observer. Follow him on Twitter for updates from the road, daily columns and videos.