UFC 158 Nason Cageside Live Blog: The Night Georges St. Pierre & Nick Diaz Became Friends

UFC 158 Cageside

My current view might be better than yours.

We're off and running with UFC 158 coverage about 25 feet away from cageside live and in full colour in Montreal, Canada -- a tremendous host city if I say so.

Dave Meltzer will be doing his usual coverage, so I'm going to support that with my own news/notes here. I won't be doing running play-by-play like Big D, so consider this a cousin to the other post; a real BLOG for some of the Empire that hates that term.

It's 6:36 PM and we're off and running with our first fight.

George Roop vs. Reuben Duran

- The crowd is about half full at this point and responding to all of the shots landed...until they hit the ground and they went dead quiet. A rather loud group of Americans is about 10 feet in back of us, obsessed with their "American brother". The crowd comes to life when Brittany Palmer and Arianny Celeste make their turn on the catwalk for the first time.

- Roop is 6'1" and weighed in at 135 pounds. I'm 6 feet tall and I think weighed 135 in sixth grade. Roop is just 2-5 in the UFC and has lost two in a row, so having a good day at work is pretty imperative to his future earnings.

- One of the Americans called Arianny "Air-ee-ana". That's not going to help your chances, bro. C'mon.

- That fight was exceedingly dull, but Roop breaks his streak by getting a win with two 29-28 and one 30-27 score.

TJ Dillashaw vs. Issei Tamura

- Dillashaw enters this one having won two in a row, while Tamura was knocked out in his last tilt. After an early flurry, cage grapplin' bores the crowd but Dillashaw's aggressiveness wins them over as the round closes.

- Well that didn't last long. Dillashaw connects with a knee to a low charging Tamura, following up with some punches that put him to sleep. The crowd responds in kind, a indicator of bigger pops to come. Official result was Dillashaw via 2nd round KO (:26). That's three in a row and in the bantamweight division, that's getting close to title shot territory.

Rick Story vs. Quinn Mulhern up next.

- Story wasn't about to let this recent run of Strikeforce fighters running all WCW on UFC talent go any longer. He beat up an overmatched Mulhern despite giving up five inches of height and four inches of reach. Story dominated Mulhern on the feet and picked up an easy first round TKO win. Remember when he was a fast-rising contender? Tonight was a nice nod toward some sort of streak again. The key is doing it again for the growing Bell Centre masses.

- With the FX prelims set to kick off at 8 PM EST, we have a 20 minute break...which means lots of loud techno music.

John Makdessi vs. Daron Cruickshank

- Because the word wrestling is on the masthead of this site, I feel obliged to tell you Cruickshank came out to 'Real American'. If he has a big comeback during the fight and wags his finger in Makdessi's face to kick it off, I will pass out.

- Since getting bounced on the first fight of his TUF season, DC has two wins including that awesome KO of Henry Martinez in December. Makdessi used to have spectacular finishes, but has hit the decision skids in his last few. We'll see what happens here, but this should be great.

- Fans are booing this throughout the first round, but to be fair, they were booing 30 SECONDS INTO IT. Have any of these people even sparred 30 seconds? I fear for Ellenberger/Marquardt later on, nearly sure to elicit rage from the Canadian faithful.

- Cruickshank has ridiculously fast feet, leading to a fantastic flurry of exchanges in the second half of the 2nd round. Makdessi is holding his own though. The replays of the round show both guys' shots are barely missing. If they connect more in the 3rd, we'll have a fun finish coming.

- Makdessi was too much on the feet for DC, taking a 29-28 u/d. He really turned it on the 3rd round and the crowd got more and more into it. That's his second straight win and it snaps a two fight win streak for DC.

Dan Miller vs. the popular Canadian Jordan Mein up next.

- Mein got a nice reception at yesterday's weigh-ins, complete with 'Jor-dan' chant from a loud group. And he's part of the Strikeforce invasion angle, so there's that.

- Mein nearly gets submitted by a tight armbar and manages to roll his way out of it, much to the delight of the Montreal faithful. That might have been Miller's best chance to win this. Mein lands a left hook that drops Miller on his ass. He lefts him back up and later hits a Liddell overhand right.

- That was foreshadowing as Mein continued to take Miller apart in the first round, setting up hard lefts and rights with a jab that found its mark. He attacked Miller's body and then exploded with nearly 10 straight punches on the ground to win this one by 1st round TKO (4:42). Miller may be a great guy, but he's lost three of his last four and got rung up pretty good here. Cut?

- Let's not call Mein a star just yet (remember John Hathaway?), but at 23, that was a damn great way to make your UFC debut.

Antonio Carvalho vs. Darren Elkins up next.

- While you weren't looking, Elkins has won four straight and five of his last six. A win here should put him in line to fight a top guy next. Canadian Carvalho has two in a row and also likes Eminem.

- Well that was....weird. Elkins landed a right hook that put Carvalho on his knees and ref Yves Lavigne jumped in to stop the fight at 3:06 of the 1st round. That might be the worst quick stoppage I've ever seen and that's saying something.

- Nevertheless, Elkins has won five straight and has his 1st finish since March 2010.

Provincial superstar Patrick Cote vs. Strikeforce invader Bobby Voelker next.

- So Cote plans to head to the French language broadcast booth following this fight. If his jaw gets Struved by Voelker, that might change. Fans are big into Cote and his Twisted Sister-powered entrance. They want to rock...ROCK!

- The crowd is 100% into Cote, but Voelker isn't standing down. As the fight makes its way through the 2nd round, he's giving more than he's taking and Cote is bloodied up above the eye. That doesn't stop people for cheering for every single offensive motion Cote makes including a takedown attempt that was stuffed.

- Halfway through the 3rd, Cote needs a babyface comeback as the evil American is taking it to him. The crowd is willing him on, but Cote is getting worked over on the ground. If there's justice, Voelker will take home a well-earned 29-28 win.

- All three judges scored it 29-28 alright...for Cote! The crowd is even surprised. Bad decision there. The Canadian fix is in!

PPV portion of the show up next.

So in a situation where they really should have made the announcement to the live crowd, but Dana White announced to the FX audience that Ronda Rousey and the winner of Meisha Tate/Cat Zingano will coach the next season of TUF. And yes, they will be coaching men and not women. An opportunity lost to stock the female division's cupboard? We'll see.

"Mr. Charisma" Mike Ricci vs. Colin "Freakshow" Fletcher up first. By physical appearance alone, they are quite the polar opposites.

- A great point made on Twitter: Ricci looks like Steve Rogers before the experiments that made him Captain America. I picked Fletcher for this one as Ricci has come off as a bit uptight this weekend. I thought the attention and pressure of opening up the PPV in his hometown might be a bit much. Of course, everyone else picked him so what do I know?

- Through two, this fight is dreadful. Fletcher is clearly not UFC caliber and Ricci shouldn't be anywhere near a PPV or main televised card for a while. Even though he's from here, I think the fans would be perfectly happy if Fletcher tagged him.

- Ricci earns a 30-27 u/d win, but gets no Rogan interview.

Nick Ring vs. Chris Camozzi up next.

(Also, the Cote/Voelker scorecards are in. All three gave the first two rounds to Cote and the 3rd to Voelker. Worth a rewatch but the 2nd round is the tossup.)

- This is Camozzi's 8th UFC bout, a stat that stunned me. He's been anonymous, but this is a good chance to make himself known to a relatively large PPV audience. Ring has been out for a while (July '12) which is why I went with Camozzi. Also, this is a battle of two TUF 11 castmates if you're into that kind of thing.

- Through one round, the crowd hates this fight, pulling out "Boooo-riiing" for the first time tonight. Should it be Nick "Bo" Ring instead? I kill myself sometimes.

- Through two rounds, both guys' noses are bloodied up but they just seem to be cancelling each other out. Camozzi's last two finishes have come in the 3rd round, so maybe there's a chance?

- Guess not. Camozzi earns a split decision by two 29-28 marks. Tepidness reigns throughout the arena. This is a contender for Wet Blanket Fight Of The Night. That's his 4th straight win, but seems pretty inconsequential at this point.

Jake Ellenberger vs. Nate Marquardt (a possible cage grapplefest) up next.

- These two have been associated with slow fights before. I don't think this crowd can take three in a row. Surprisingly, the crowd popped for Ellenberger's entrance music, "Gangsta's Paradise". Who knew Canada loved Coolio?

- What Marquardt shows up tonight has been a point of discussion this week. Also, what do we have in Ellenberger: future title challenger or 2nd tier gatekeeper?

- Question answered! Ellenberger connected with a glancing left hook and a right hook that dropped Marquardt, following up with ground and pound. He then connected with a right hook to side of head knocked Marquardt flat on his face for the first round KO win at 3:00. Marquardt was complaining about an early stoppage but he was out cold.

- That's Ellenberger's first T/KO win since his 1st round TKO of Jake Shields in September 2011. If Condit wins, he also could be a candidate for Double C's next fight.

Condit/Hendricks UFC
The eyes of Condit are upon Hendricks.

Crowd is jacked for the co-main: Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit. It's simple for Hendricks: win and get your title shot.

- The last time Hendricks was here? He KO'd Martin Kampmann in 46 seconds. Condit has never been knocked out. The crowd is amped for this one beyond belief. Both are over HUGE.

- First round was fantastic. Hendricks was throwing bombs, but Condit was game with these leaping attacks that found a home. Every time Hendricks would land, Condit would fire back. I give that 10-9 to Hendricks but man, what a hell of a round.

- Second round was just as fun. These two are about as equally up to the task as two top contenders can be. Condit was landing flying knees, but Hendricks continued to push ahead with power fists. Best sequence: Condit flying knee into a Hendricks counter takedown. Crowd is ballistic going into the 3rd. 10-9 Hendricks.

- Hendricks went into 'secure takedown/stall/win' mode in the 3rd, but every time the fight went standing, Condit was landing the cleaner shots. Hendricks looked like he was wearing down.

- Hendricks picked up a 29-28 u/d and fans were booing for some bizarre reason. He also thinks he broke his left hand early on, convincing me that Condit's head/jaw is the toughest in the division. In his post-fight interview, he challenged GSP again and said he wants it in 5 months in Montreal. If not, he'll get a ref and come to GSP's house so they can settle it.

- Condit thinks he won the fight. Fans absolutely love him.

Next up: the main event!

- Fans are completely standing for the intros. This is the definition of a big fight atmosphere.

- 1st round was all GSP who got an immediate takedown and worked Diaz for nearly the entire five minutes. A few elbows snuck through and a few punches, but it was essentially control. Give Diaz credit though. His defense minimized the damage. 10-9 GSP. Big 'F**k You Diaz' chants during the round and before the 2nd. He wanted a fight...he got it.

- More of the same in the 2nd round. GSP is controlling Diaz on the ground and landing some knees to the sides, etc. Not exactly the worst beating of his life. Diaz was talking to GSP after the 2nd and know is fully talking trash as we enter the 3rd.

- 3rd round was markedly better as most of the five minutes was standing. GSP snuck several of his patented power jabs through, but Diaz gave it right back at him and started getting some punches through as well. When that began to happen with more frequency, GSP immediately scored a takedown. Interesting. 10-9 GSP.

- 4th round was similar to the 3rd with less Diaz offense. He did get in a kimura attempt near the end of the round and got some straight rights through but nothing to change the course of the fight. He needs a finish in the 5th to take this.

- Not much to speak of in the 5th. GSP did land a few good shots. Diaz tried a desperation kick early that didn't work. Again, this was far from the worst beating of Diaz's life. What happened?

GSP wins u/d (all 50-45).
Next up? The power punches of Johny Hendricks.

- GSP plenty complimentary of Diaz afterward, saying he's a fan of his and took nothing personal. Diaz again threatens retirement from MMA, says he's thought about it for quite some time. Doesn't really like where the sport is going.

Alrighty then. Off to the post-fight presser.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?