georges-st-pierre-28.jpgFor reasons that are totally understandable, it seems like UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre still doesn’t understand what’s happening here.

You can’t blame him. He looks at Nick Diaz through a GSP-tinted lens. He tries to understand his motivations using logic and reasoning and knowledge gained from past experience. But the thing is, he’s never experienced an opponent like Diaz. Maybe that’s because there isn’t one.

Consider St-Pierre’s response to Diaz’s many expletive-laden rants during this past week’s UFC 158 media call ahead of Saturday’s pay-per-view headliner in Montreal. To GSP, it’s a business decision by the challenger. It’s just another guy trying to hype a big money fight with the champ to benefit his own bank account.

“They talk their way into the fight,” St-Pierre told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “They win, and they try to get that fight. They talk, and then there’s a big story about it.”

That might be true about Josh Koscheck or Dan Hardy. But Diaz? This is the same guy who likely cost himself a small fortune when he blew off enough media responsibilities to get pulled from his first UFC title shot. If he’s ever made a business decision in his life, it was probably on accident.

You can’t make sense of Diaz (26-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC) actions using GSP (23-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) logic, though again, we can’t blame the champ for trying. One of St-Pierre’s greatest strengths is his analytical approach. Remember when he explained that he attacked B.J. Penn’s “thoracic cage” because doctors had told him that flexible hips tend to go along with weaker cores? That’s a man who sees the world as a rational place, a place of causes and effects. To him, Diaz’s weird diatribes must have a point. And since money is the simplest and most common motivator in pro sports, that’s the first one GSP reaches for. This guy must be trying to talk up the fight in order to cash in, GSP figures. It’s a financial strategy.

But then, that assumes that there is a strategy at all. It assumes that Diaz is motivated by rational forces, which might not be the case at all.

Just look at the way Diaz fights. There aren’t many surprises in his game at this point. You know he’s going to walk forward, arm-punching his way through flurries like he’s getting paid by the swing, paying little heed to the threat of a takedown or a counter-attack. That makes him a fun fighter to watch. His constant pressure wears down opponents, except for when they refuse to play along. For all the things Diaz does well, adaptation isn’t one of them. As longtime friend and training partner Jake Shields put it when I spoke to him recently, Diaz fights on raw emotion better than anyone in the sport, “but it can hurt him occasionally.”

The Carlos Condit fight is a great example. Condit refused to play Diaz’s game and wasn’t going to be taunted into changing his mind.

“It frustrated Nick,” Shields said. “Instead of trying to adapt his game plan, I think he figured, what’s the point? He just ran out there trying to fight him, and I think it negatively affected him.”

That’s an approach that a fighter like GSP will probably never understand. He’s the one who’s mastered a style of fighting that takes full advantage of the structure of MMA rules and scoring criteria. He prioritizes winning rounds over finishing fights because that’s the rational thing to do. Winning rounds is how you win fights. It’s how you hold onto your title and rake in your sponsorship money and create that passive income stream he was trying to explain to Diaz. But Diaz doesn’t play that.

What Diaz does is fight his way, all the time, and against every opponent. When he can convince the other guy to go along with it, he usually wins. When he can’t, well, his style isn’t always favored in close decisions. And instead of changing that style, Diaz assures himself that it’s the entire judging and scoring system that’s broken. Why should he change? It’s everyone else who has the problem.

You can see why GSP might not understand a guy like that. He’s been so successful by working within the sport as it is, rather than how he might like it to be. He hears Diaz going off on a conference call and immediately starts searching for the ulterior motives.

Is this about money? Is it an attempt to intimidate him? As he asked Diaz at one point during the call, “Do you seriously believe I’m afraid of you, man?”

A simple, rational question to ask, given the circumstances. But if the goal is helping you reach a greater understanding of why Diaz does what he does, maybe that’s also what makes it the wrong one.

For more on UFC 158, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

The MMA Hour - 276 - Fan questions

  • 19 days ago
  • 2 views

Ariel Helwani and Eric Jackman answer fan questions on The MMA Hour. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 64 preview: Five burning questions for 'Gonzaga vs Cro Cop 2' in Poland

  • 20 days ago
  • 25 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads overseas for a UFC Fight Pass exclusive this Saturday afternoon (April 11, 2015) with the UFC Fight Night 64 fight card featuring a heavyweight rematch betw read news >>

UFC Fight Night 63 Results: Burning Questions Heading into Fight Night 64

  • 22 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC Fight Night 63 is in the books. The results are as follows: Chad Mendes defeats Ricardo Lamas by TKO at 2:45 of the first round Al Iaquinta defeats Jorge Masvidal by split decision (29-28, 27-30, read news >>

GLORY 20: Gabriel Varga far different from your typical fighter, for many reasons

  • 23 days ago
  • 3 views

Gabriel Varga is not your typical fighter, but he is one of the best in his weight class. The Canadian will battle Mosab Amrani for the inaugural GLORY featherweight strap at GLORY 20 later tonight ( read news >>

10 reasons to watch 10 fights at UFC Fight Night 63 in Virginia

  • 23 days ago
  • 2 views

For folks tired of reading ConorMcGregorJoseAldo.com, also known as MMAjunkie (and just about every other MMA website over the past week or two), here comes UFC Fight Night 63 to take our minds off b read news >>

Rafael dos Anjos on McGregor fight: 'I want to fight someone coming off a win'

  • 25 days ago
  • 30 views

Rafael dos Anjos answered some Twitter questions last Tuesday about what he thinks of a possible fight against Conor McGregor. His answer was short, but powerful. UFC lightweight champion, Rafael dos read news >>

The MMA Hour - 275 - Fan questions

  • 26 days ago
  • 4 views

Ariel Helwani and Eric Jackman answer questions from fans. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 63 preview: Five burning questions for 'Mendes vs Lamas' on FOX Sports 1

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

After a week hiatus, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to FOX Sports 1 this Saturday afternoon (April 4, 2015) with a very intriguing UFC Fight Night 63 fight card featuring a featherweigh read news >>

5 Reasons to Watch UFC Fight Night 63

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

April marks the start of a long and heavy run of MMA—even for the UFC's round-the-clock standards. From now until the end of September, the Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to churn out 25 differ read news >>