UFC 158 GSP vs. Diaz: Wrestling Observer Picks & Preview



UFC 158 GSP vs. Diaz Square Off

By Josh Nason

Georges St. Pierre returns for his fourth straight fight in Canada against a previously thought villain who is turning out to be a more sympathetic figure than we ever expected he could be.

It's UFC 158. It's Montreal. It's time for GSP vs. Diaz! Live coverage by Dave here and by yours truly here.

Our panel:

- Dave Meltzer (13-15): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

- Bryan Alvarez (15-9): Figure Four Weekly founder and writer

- Todd Martin (17-11): Weekly FFD guest | LA Times | Sherdog

- Mike Sempervive (14-14): Wrestling Observer Live | Big Audio Nightmare

- Mike Sawyer (19-9) of ToughTalkMMA.com

- Josh Nason (20-8): Wrestling Observer web editor, social media guy

- Oliver Copp (15-13) of combat sports insider fame (also live at cageside tonight)

Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz


If you're my friend, you've been reading my coverage all week on this event. There's not much else that can be said about this title fight -- 100% thanks to Diaz. It may be one-sided, but all of that vitriol that dissipated since last year returned in full form in the last 10 days. Saturday's fight will be tremendous theatre.

GSP: Copp, Martin, Sawyer, Meltzer, Nason, Alvarez
Diaz
: Sempervive

Carlos Condit (28-6) vs. Johnny Hendricks (14-1)

I talked about this fight for my Friday column, but i think it's going to be awesome. The stakes are simple: Hendricks gets a title shot with a victory. If Condit wins, he doesn't earn a shot but will get another top contender next (likely a revival of the Rory McDonald fight that was scrapped due to injury).

Condit: Martin, Sawyer, Sempervive, Nason (a complete flip from what I predicted on The Fight Network Thursday)
Hendricks:
Copp, Meltzer, Alvarez

Jake Ellenberger (28-6) vs. Nate Marquardt (32-11-2)


After back to back wins over Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields brought him oh-so-close to a title shot, a knockout loss to Martin Kampmann and blah decision win over Jay Hieron have Ellenberger needing to reclaim some buzz.

Marquardt returns to the Octagon for the first time since being cut in the spring of 2011. He is also in search of a notable win after Tarec Saffiedine surprisingly beat him by decision in January, evaporating the memory of that big KO win over Tyron Woodley. Unfortunately, this fight could be terribly dull with a lot of cage grappling.

Ellenberger: Copp, Martin, Sawyer, Sempervive, Meltzer, Nason, Alvarez

Chris Camozzi (18-5) vs. Nick Ring (13-1)

A somewhat eyebrow raising fight for a big PPV could turn out to be pretty damn good middleweight tilt. The TUF 11 vet Camozzi steps into the Octagon for his seventh time (I know, right?), sporting a three fight win streak.

Fellow TUF 11 cast member Ring has gone 3-1 in his UFC run, but has been out of action since a July 2012 win over Court McGee. The Canadian has become a distance fighter in the UFC (three of his last four), while Camozzi has third round finishes in two of his last three.

Camozzi:
Martin, Meltzer, Nason
Ring:
Copp, Sawyer, Sempervive, Alvarez

Mike Ricci (7-3) vs. Colin Fletcher (8-2)

After losing a one-sided decision to Colton Smith in the TUF 16 finale, Ricci drops back down to lightweight for what he hopes will be a meaningful UFC run. The Montreal native has an interesting foe in his return in "Freakshow" Fletcher. The Sunderland, UK, product lost in the TUF: Smashes finale in December. To say they have two different looks is an understatement.

Ricci:
Copp, Martin, Sawyer, Sempervive, Meltzer, Alvarez
Fletcher:
Nason

Dave will be doing his usual play-by-play up on the site, while your truly will be doing alternative coverage as well.

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