MONTREAL — UFC 158 came to a close with hometown hero, Georges St-Pierre still in possession of his welterweight title belt. Despite Nick Diaz’s head games and aggressive approach leading up to the fight, all judges scored the bout 50-45 in favor of the current champion.
The fight was heavily leaning towards St-Pierre after the first round when most of the time was spent on the ground. Takedown attempts were all successful and Diaz was pushed to turtle position where St-Pierre controlled.
When the two fighters stood up, St-Pierre willingly stayed on the feet to exchange kicks and punches while maintaining an appropriate distance. He claimed the right distance for Diaz, who was more like a kickboxer, standing either too far or close.
Diaz woke up a bit after the first and second rounds, coming back with some punches of his own in the third and fourth round but it wasn’t enough to dominate in the judges’ eyes. The fifth round claimed its owner to the current champion when Diaz resumed his failed takedown defenses and the ground was once again where the fight was controlled.
The closing of the match garnered a surprising hug and mutual respect that could not be described by St-Pierre when asked at the post-fight press conference. Diaz looked as though he had a change of heart after the fight, giving respect to the title-defender. He turned back into fighting mode, however, when he said he wanted a rematch.
“I’m trying to retire and I don’t want to fight any of these young kids, but I will fight GSP again,” said the once again unsatisfied Diaz.
No plans have been made towards the possibility of a rematch.
Fight of the night goes to Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit
In a split decision win, Johny Hendricks took the slight lead over Carlos Condit in what was an endless effort by both. Going the distance for most fights does not always entail an action-packed bout but Hendricks and Condit never stopped moving.
Hendricks has been wrestling since he was five years old, proving such experience in his successful takedowns on Condit. The two were consistently going to the ground by Hendrick’s double legs due to Condit’s ability to get back up. Hendricks could not hold Condit down but the constant takedowns and attempts to control were enough to put him in the lead for the judges to decide.
Hendricks’ heavy-handed punches met Condit’s chin, but the damage was minimal. On the same side of the coin, Condit’s flying knees, swift punches, and high and low kicks were no match for Hendricks’ chin.
After the fight, Hendricks took the opportunity in his post fight interview with Joe Rogan to call out Georges St-Pierre, a behavior not previously seen from the “Bigg Rig.” The win over Condit gave Hendricks the first place in line to fight St-Pierre, as confirmed by UFC president Dana White at the post press conference. White had no immediate plans for the date of the GSP-Hendricks title fight.
Of Condit’s skill in the octagon, Hendrick’s gives praise.
“Much respect to Carlos,” he said. “I am banged up. I hit him very hard, big shots, but he kept coming and coming. He’s an awesome fighter.”
Jake Ellenberger drops Nate Marquardt in the first round
Nate Marquardt dropped weight to come back strong from his nearly two-year absence from the UFC, but he ended up dropping from Jake Ellenberger’s strong hand at 3:00 in the first round.
Ellenberger managed to hit Marquardt while he was against the cage which dropped him to the ground where he ended the fight with a flurry of punches before the ref called it quits.
The actions was back and forth but Ellenberger remained standing in attempts to avoid his assumed wrestling style and fight Marquardt more on his playing field. The success of this match-up put Ellenberger much closer to a possible title shot later on down the line and place him as a threat once again.
“He kicked me hard to the leg and one to the body and I thought ‘Okay, we going to end this fast.'” said the ecstatic victor. “I saw he squared up whenever he kicked so I threw hard every time he did that. This is no doubt the biggest KO of my life, and it puts me right there for a title fight or No. 1 contender fight.”
Chris Camozzi vs. Nick Ring
Chris Camozzi pulled a split decision win over Nick Ring in a scorecard of 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.
This bout was the least entertaining of the night, judging by the lack of cheers by the Montreal crowd. The fight went the full distance of three rounds, however the action was quite the same throughout each.
Both fighters had exhausted their energy by the finish, but the display of mixed martial arts was at a near standstill. The two led the rounds in striking but remained rather even through and through.
With not much to say regarding the toughness of the fight, winner Camozzi commented, “It was a tough fight. He fought in a weird style which was hard to figure out. I did more damage and I think that’s what the judges went on.”
Mike Ricci vs. Colin “Freakshow” Fletcher
Mike Ricci pulled the win over Freakshow Colin Fletcher by judges’ decision, all three giving him 30-27 scores. Fletcher danced a lot, using spinning kicks that rarely made contact. Ricci pushed the pace a bit more and maintained solid on the ground when he achieved takedowns.
Fletcher is known for his submission wins, having his last six wins in that fashion. At one point Fletcher was inverted, possibly looking for a kneebar but had no success as Ricci maintained his base well.
“He was so hard to figure out,” said Ricci. “I was trying to land to the head but he’s so unorthodox I couldn’t get him so I went for the body just to make sure I landed something. I was in control every time we went to the ground, though.”
Preliminary Bouts (on FX):
Patrick Cote def. Bobby Voelker by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Darren Elkins def. Antonio Carvalho by TKO at 3:06, Round 1
Jordan Mein def. Dan Miller by TKO at 4:42; Round 1
John Makdessi def. Daron Cruickshank by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Preliminary Bouts (on Facebook):
Rick Story def. Quinn Mulhern by TKO at 3:05; Round 1
T.J. Dillashaw def. Issei Tamura by TKO at 0:26, Round 2
George Roop def. Reuben Duran by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)