UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre addressed the media at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale and explained why he chose to take the Nick Diaz fight expected to take place at UFC 158 on March 16 in Montreal, Canada.
Georges is completely recovered from his ACL surgery as seen in his dominant win over Carlos Condit at UFC 154 where he unified the welterweight title. Instead of taking a superfight vs Anderson Silva, GSP decided to take care of business in his division. In this case, the unfinished business lies with Nick Diaz.
But for the past nine months, Diaz has been suspended for testing positive for marijuana metabolites following his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 for the interim welterweight belt. Diaz remains suspended until February 2013 unless one of his appeals lifts the suspension sooner.
While Diaz has been suspended, Johny Hendricks’ star has been on the rise in the division. Hendricks’ holds signature wins over Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Martin Kampmann. It had been said that Johny was the next number one contender, but he’s been passed over for Diaz.
“I do feel bad for Johny. Put yourself in my shoes. It’s the big fight. This fight has been waiting to happen for a long time,,” St-Pierre said of the tough predicament. “It’s the big fight that people want to see, so everybody wants to fight me now, it’s crazy. I cannot split myself in half. If I wouldn’t have done that and I would do another fight, Diaz would’ve complained. If I fight another guy, they both would’ve complained. What do they want me to do? I cannot split myself in pieces and fight different guys all at the same time.”
“I believe, bottom of my heart, Diaz deserves the fight,” GSP continued. “His last fight with Condit was close. Some people gave it to Diaz, personally I gave to Condit. People want to see Diaz and I, so I’m doing it for the fans and the UFC.”
Following his win over BJ Penn at UFC 137, Diaz called out St-Pierre and said he was ducking him. St-Pierre said his reason for taking this fight wasn’t because of what Diaz had said about him.
“It’s not personal, it’s nothing personal .It’s not the first time people have trashed talked with me. I can give you the list, it goes on. But it’s good, it makes more drama, people are going to tune in, it’s going to be fun.”
When it comes down to it, GSP said that there’s no way that he could take every fight that is in the cards. Many expected Hendricks would get the next title shot, St-Pierre said his time will come. Others thought a superfight would be next, GSP said there wouldn’t be enough time for him to pack on the weight to be able to fight him by March. So, Diaz it is.
When asked his thoughts on Diaz’s suspension for marijuana metabolites, the champ said he just hopes the drug tests come back clean when they battle it out for the title.
“I hope he’s not going to do something crazy before our fight, because I don’t want train all that time for nothing,” GSP said. “It’s a big money fight and Nick Diaz is a smart guy. This is the chance of his lifetime. He’s an old-timer guy. He’s been there for a long time, for years. I think he wants this fight and I want this fight as well, so we’re going to put on a great show.”
UFC 158 is has 3 high level welterweight fights on the card as confirmed by the UFC Saturday. Johny Hendricks vs Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald vs Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre vs Nick Diaz. The fight card will take place on March 16 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Patrick Cote vs Alessio Sakara has also been added to the card.