Posts Tagged ‘Georges St. Pierre’
The UFC 158 media duties are over and all that is left is the fight, but what happens after the fight?
Nick Diaz will challenge UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre for his title Saturday at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. It’s been one of the most anticipated fights in the history of the promotion, and the hype surrounding the match has been entertaining, yet maybe a bit much at times.
The beginning of this debacle began at a UFC 137 pre-fight press conference. UFC president Dana White stood at the podium, St-Pierre seated to his right and a room full of media was present, however, the challenger, Diaz, was not in attendance. This led to Diaz being pulled from the match by choice of White, and Carlos Condit was awarded the chance to challenge GSP for the belt.
St-Pierre suffered a torn ACL, forcing him to withdraw from the match, which set up a contest between Condit and Diaz. Diaz lost a decision to Condit at UFC 143, and to add insult to injury, the former Strikeforce champion tested positive for marijuana metabolites, a banned substance, following the match.
Diaz served a 12-month suspension for his mishap, GSP defended his belt against Condit in November 2012, and a bout featuring the French-Canadian and the Cesar Gracie product came to fruition. And the headaches began.
In January, White informed members of the media that Diaz has missed several appointments to film “UFC Primetime,” a program used to promote main events of such a high profile. Coach Gracie reputed Diaz was unaware of the dates and times for filming until it was too late. The UFC let that slide, but became incredibly concerned when Diaz missed his open workout in Montreal just days before the event. An irritated White made it clear that if the Californian did not meet the rest of his media obligations the consequences would be severe.
Though, White insisted Diaz promote the fight, it may not have been the kind of campaign that sits well with the UFC once the Stockton native obliged.
Diaz, at a UFC 158 pre-fight press conference on Thursday, continuously blasted St-Pierre and White for selling “wolf tickets” – making up lies to sell the fight- to the fans. Diaz claimed he doesn’t receive the same treatment as the champ, citing that he too would like a “buttered up photo” on the event poster. He also kept no opinion to himself, as Diaz insinuated that the rules of the sport favor a fighter with GSP’s attributes, and said St-Pierre should’ve lost decisions, Condit and Jake Shields specifically, awarded to him.
The function had the fans and media abuzz, but had St-Pierre fuming, which is out of character for the champion.
Diaz’s tirade did not stop there.
He joined the “Tim and Sid” show after the pre-fight press conference. Diaz used the Fan590 platform to hurl more accusations at St-Pierre, White and the UFC. In the midst of saying GSP is afraid of him, and White is protecting their champion, Diaz made strong allegations of the Quebecer.
“Sure, I believe (St-Pierre) is on plenty of steroids and I don’t think they test around here, either,” Diaz told the Tim and Sid Show. “I doubt I’ll be tested, as well.
“I don’t care what they’re saying or marketing to the media. I don’t think either of us are going to be tested. And if so, he’s probably got a bottle of piss in his pocket. I doubt they’re standing over him, making sure he’s not on steroids.”
When an athlete such as St-Pierre, who is considered a great ambassador of the sport, is accused of such harsh acts, it is imperative to substantiate those allegations. Furthermore, slandering your boss and company publically is never a positive method of securing employment.
If Diaz conquers St-Pierre, the UFC will be left with a champion that isn’t one for compromising. Diaz does things his way, when he feels like it, whether it frustrates anyone or not. White said if that is the case, he will have to have a “come to Jesus” meeting in Las Vegas to hash out the penalties should Diaz continue his negligent ways. Stripping of the title and walking papers would definitely be on the list of consequences.
Should St-Pierre defend his title, then Diaz is left with virtually no leverage for his antics. White would be hard pressed to tolerate Diaz’s disregard for media policies, public outbursts against the UFC and the company’s president if not involved in a title fight. This, once again, would lead to Diaz being served with walking papers.
Win or lose, Diaz is in a position that if he doesn’t employ a new attitude, he’ll be searching for a new employer after the fight.
UFC lightweight Mike Ricci is done with people doubting his combat skills.
“The Martian” first made waves as a finalist in last year’s “The Ultimate Fighter 16″ welterweight tournament. Since then, he’s courted controversy by slamming the TUF experience as ultimately unpleasant for its participants. It’s a criticism Ricci (Twitter: @MikeyRicci) still stands by, and one he says doesn’t affect his fighting abilities.
“For me the problem with TUF was being away from home,” he told MMADiehards’ Punch Drunk Radio last Tuesday. “It had nothing to do with fighting or making weight.”
Now in its 17th season, TUF is the UFC’s reality TV series for recruiting and signing new fighters. Though Ricci revealed he’s grateful for the exposure, he said the star-making program too often focuses on trivialities rather than actual talent. The end result is entertainment first and elite athletics second.
“The Martian,” for example, found viewers were often distracted by his distinct hairstyle. Rather than watch his exploits in the cage, he said they’d discuss his fashion sense instead.
“I’d rather have people talking than not talking,” Ricci admitted. “But it’s been three years now since I first got this haircut. I’ve been fighting for a while now, and I’ve won fights – sometimes in devastating fashion – and lost others too. I’ve proved I’m a fighter regardless of my haircut.”
Ricci said such misplaced priorities are frustrating given that MMA is more competitive than ever before. The sport’s mainstream success is attracting more talent, he said, and it’s now a booming battlefield for new fighters.
“I think the challenge of competing on TUF is still high,” Ricci said. “The playing field is leveling out. Everybody’s getting good at everything. I think that’s why there’s a lot less finishes on the show now.”
“The Martian” confronted this phenomenon firsthand during the TUF 16 Finale last December. Facing off with Colton Smith, Ricci lost via unanimous decision. At day’s end, both men were too evenly matched for a decisive finish.
That meeting’s result ensured Ricci made his UFC debut in defeat. He’s now trying to bounce back with a victory over “Freakshow” Colin Fletcher at UFC 158 in March. It’s a tough challenge given Fletcher’s penchant for pre-fight mind games. “Freakshow” is notorious for wearing elaborate walkout costumes and insulting his foes.
“Some guys are good at getting into other guys’ heads and some guys aren’t,” Ricci said of Fletcher’s psychological warfare. “It’s not really my thing. Fletcher is actually a nice guy, though, and I’ve seen some of his interviews. He’s an intelligent dude, and he markets himself very well.”
Ricci said he’s convinced he has the tools for overcoming Fletcher’s antics. Even if he doesn’t, “The Martian” revealed one final weapon. A proud native of Montreal, Canada, Ricci’s fight with Fletcher will take place at his hometown’s Bell Centre.
“The crowds here are incredible,” Ricci said of the support he’ll receive at home. “Whether it’s boxing or MMA, the fight roots run real deep here. I went to a UFC event once in Toronto with 60,000 other people and it wasn’t as loud as the last time Georges St-Pierre fought in Montreal.”
Mark Hensch is an avid MMA fan who became interested in the sport through wrestling and karate. When not covering the hurt business, he writes about heavy metal for the Washington Times at his blog Heavy Metal Hensch in Washington D.C.
Stand Up Comedians Luis J. Gomez (Twitter: @luisjgomez), Kris Tinkle (Twitter: @kristinkle), and Julian Vance (Twitter: @YESweVANCE) talk MMA news and rumors! On this episode Kris and Julian go missing after an argument with Luis so fellow comics Dave Smith and Oni Perez sit in along with theMMANerd.com’s PJ Chou. They discuss UFC on FOX 5, the Fistie Awards, GSP’s high price tag, Bisping being Strikeforce champ, injuries, bookings, and more!
“I had tons of fans begging me to make that fight. Just to make it clear, from the last press conference, when they talk about all the top contenders and all the top contenders whining who didn’t get that fight. I called every single one of them and they turned it down,” White said. “Chael Sonnen accepted that fight on eight days’ notice, that’s my kind of guy.
“There’s tons of people who want to see Chael Sonnen, if you’re not one of them, don’t buy it. I’ll guarantee you’ll like the next fight, and if you don’t like that one, we put on plenty of fights — there will be one that you do like.”
- UFC president Dana White talked to mmafighting about next season’s coaches, Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, on “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“After watching Jon’s last fight, I could just tell Chael to pull guard and he’s likely to submit Jones. I don’t know, I’m not going to disrespect the guy. He has an excellent overall game, incredible athlete. He’s super young so he can get better in everything else. But his ground in his last fight was a little suspect. He got caught in an armbar by a guy who is not known for having great jiu-jitsu for MMA, even though Vitor’s a black belt, he’s not known for having great jiu-jitsu for MMA. And especially getting somebody in the submission off his back, it made things even more unbelievable.”
- Vinny Magalhaes talked to Aaron Tru about Sonnen’s ability to submit Jones.
“They talk to me about the next fight and I’m not there. Like I’m supposed to win easy, like it’s a joke. Carlos Condit is a dangerous guy. I always respect my opponent. My life is on the line.”
- UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre explained to the NYPost the reason he is uncomfortable talking about any opponent other than Carlos Condit.
“Askren is so one dimensional, but he’s amazing at what he does. He’s not one of those fighters that’s going to go out there and try to strike against a striker and abandon his game plan. What he’s been doing so far has made him successful in his career. He’s being smart about it, he sticks to his game plan and just sharpens up a few things here and there.”
- Lyman Good talked to MMA DieHards about the combatant he will meet, Ben Askren, should he win the Bellator Season 7 welterweight tournament.
“I feel that if other athletes have low levels, and a doctor prescribes it, then that’s their decision to make. My decision is that I’ve gone this far without it, so I just want to finish out my career without the use of it. If Rich decides to do it or not, it’s his decision. For me, it just doesn’t change the game plan. My back kick won’t discriminate. It will connect the same way and do the same damage. I’ve gone this far without assistance, so why mess with a good thing? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
- Cung Le admitted to Bloodelbow that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is something he has never used and doesn’t intend to use in the future.
“Rampage is an idol of the sport and good when he trains. It is a fight that will be hard, but I will be ready for him. I’m always ready to fight and I will beat this guy. He is talking about he will destroy me, fighting with two guys in the night. He lost to Forrest Griffin and talking he will fight with Griffin and me on the same night? So I say, this guy is clueless.”
- Glover Teixeira told Five Knuckles that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s statements are senseless.
If Overeem really doesn’t want to have to wait for a fight after his suspension is up, I am here ready to welcome him. I respect him as an athlete. After all, he was K-1, DREAM and Strikeforce champion. But I am not worried about titles or belts right now.
“Overeem is big and strong, but I know I can beat him. Even if was created in the lab, I can beat him.”
- Antonio Silva stated to mmajunkie that he is ready and willing to fight Alistair Overeem.
“(The blood) gave me motivation. The fans just went nuts. There was so much blood in the cage that night from him. Literally, it was the next day, and I had already taken two or three showers—the next day I still found blood in my ear, outside my ear. I found it inside, like rolled up in my eyelids.
“There was so much blood, I can’t even tell you. It was ridiculous. I can still taste it to this day. Like liquid metal. It was nuts. And definitely it motivated me. And that was a war. That was a war. I remember peeing blood after that.”
- Kenny Florian detailed his fight against Sean Sherk at “UFC 64: Unstoppable” to Bleacher Report.
“I know the Showtime relationship with Zuffa has been rocky. I know they hoped to renew that relationship and build that relationship, but they weren’t able to pull that off. I think you’re going to see the Strikeforce guys absorbed and plucked like they did the WEC.”
- UFC hall of famer Randy Couture was a guest on MMA Uncensored Live, and gave his thoughts on the assumed demise of Strikeforce.
“There’s plenty of fighters out there. Damn, they can give me a call and I’ll fight for them and we won’t have to cancel a card. But, I am surprised. I would think they would have other fighters to build a card.”
- Kurt Holobaugh told MMA DieHards that all Strikeforce has to do is give his phone a ring if they need a substitute to avoid cancelling an event.
UFC welterweight Dan Hardy has been down but never out.
Few UFC competitors have traveled the same rocky road “The Outlaw” has. Entering the Octagon in 2008, Hardy (Twitter: @DanHardyMMA) quickly turned heads with his razor-thin Mohawk and heavy-handed striking. An instant fan-favorite, it took the British brawler only two years to earn a title shot against welterweight kingpin Georges St.-Pierre at UFC 111 in Newark, N.J. in March 2010. For better or worse, it’s an accomplishment that’s defined him ever since.
“I couldn’t wait to start training for it so I started training right away and put in about 14 months,” Hardy said of the fateful fight on MMADiehards’ Hammerfisting MMA Podcast on Thursday, Sept. 20. “It was too much training, so I over-trained by about four weeks and ended up exhausted. It was just stubbornness that got me to that final bell.”
“GSP” handed Hardy his first UFC defeat after a grueling, five-round war of attrition. The experience overwhelmed “The Outlaw,” and he spent his next three fights coming up short against other opponents.
“I was doing everything I could for my fights but it just wasn’t going my way,” Hardy confessed. “I wanted to give it everything I’ve got. My intention to win was always still there.”
Such tenacity finally took Hardy to victory earlier this year. In one of 2012′s most inspiring MMA moments, “The Outlaw” overcame Duane “Bang” Ludwig at UFC 146 in May. The furious first round KO improved Hardy’s record to 24-10 (1), and, more importantly, brought back his confidence.
“The relief was overwhelming,” Hardy said of blasting past Ludwig. “I was glad to take all that bad sh*t and just put it to bed.”
“The Outlaw” said he’s now ready to keep rising up the welterweight ranks again. His next challenge is Richmond, Va.’s 6-3 Amir Sadollah at UFC on Fuel TV 5 this Saturday night. Though the fight is in Hardy’s Nottingham, England hometown, the Englishman won’t admit any edge over an opponent as strong as Sadollah.
“Sadollah is a tough, durable guy,” Hardy said. “He always comes prepared to fight. Sadollah pushes the pace and with him you’ve got to be prepared to really go the full 15 minutes. He’s going to give a punch for every one he takes.”
It’s a matchup that has Hardy salivating for a brutal scrap. Ever the warrior, the Anglo-Saxon slugger said he enjoys trading blows with fierce competitors.
“It’s always fun fighting a guy like that who goes out taking risks,” Hardy said of Sadollah’s make-or-break style. “I always prefer to be on top and beating a guy up with strikes. I’m getting to that anticipation stage where I just want the fight to be here right now. Punching someone in the face is always a good time.”
Hardy’s new training camp in Las Vegas has many fight fans wondering if there are new tricks up his sleeve. The Nottingham native said he’ll unleash every weapon he has to pick up the win this weekend.
“I have a lot of new skills I’ve picked up this year and haven’t used yet,’ Hardy claimed. “I could put Sadollah on his back and choke him out if I want to. Then again, the left hook might take over the day and put him to bed instead.”
Mark Hensch is an avid MMA fan who became interested in the sport through wrestling and karate. When not covering the hurt business, he serves as a digital editor for the Washington Times’ Times247.com in Washington D.C.