MONTREAL – Before he was asked a question about himself or his fight training, Georges St-Pierre was answering for Nick Diaz’s whereabouts at the UFC 158 open workouts.
“It doesn’t change anything in my life,” the welterweight champ flatly said of his upcoming opponent, who no-showed the festivities. “I don’t worry about him. I only worry about myself.”
St-Pierre, who attempts the eighth defense of his belt at Saturday’s event in Montreal, isn’t worried that Diaz’s latest action could carry over to fight night. In other words, he’s pretty sure he’ll see Diaz at Thursday’s press conference, Friday’s weigh-ins, and, most importantly, standing across the cage on Saturday night, when the lights brighten at the Bell Centre.
“He will show up,” St-Pierre said. “He’s going to show up for sure.”
But make no mistake about it, St-Pierre (23-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) is ready for Sunday. That’s when he can stop answering questions about Diaz (26-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC) and his misbehavior, and, if all goes well, put his welterweight belt back in whatever special place he keeps it. (In the documentary “The Striking Truth,” the strap sat atop a fireplace in an empty room in a very large house.)
“It’s getting old, but after Saturday, it will be over, so I’m happy,” he said. “It’s amusing sometimes. The last two guys were nice guys. It’s different for me, so it’s a little bit amusing.”
That’s not at all how the media has portrayed him, and that’s probably another reason he’s a little anxious to get Diaz in his rearview mirror. Although he sounded pretty upset during a media call in support of UFC 158, calling Diaz “an uneducated fool,” he later called the fighter’s antics “a business decision.” Diaz was just one in a long line of opponents that have tried to get under his skin.
Is he angry at Diaz? Not a bit.
“They take some line that I said … I don’t know when I said that,” St-Pierre told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “There’s only three guys that have been nice with me in the UFC, that never said anything bad about me leading up to the fight. All the rest have said bad stuff, so I’m used to that position. It’s no big deal.”
Five months earlier, the major drama in St-Pierre’s life was his return to the cage after a year-plus layoff due to a torn ACL. His opponent, Carlos Condit, had not one bad thing to say about him when they met at UFC 154. Although put through his paces, St-Pierre dominated the fight and retained his title with a unanimous decision victory. He had not given up his role as a bedrock of the division.
Now, he’s back to brushing off the comments of a particularly unique breed of opponent, who captivates fans and media equally by his presence and absence. So things aren’t quite back to normal for the champ, but they’re pretty close.
For more on UFC 158, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.