UFC welterweight champion Georges St.
Pierre won’t let his disdain for challenger Nick Diaz
affect his performance Saturday at UFC
158, according to trainer Greg Jackson.
“I don’t think so just because Georges is so smart,” Jackson told
Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I always say that, but I
don’t know if people realize just how smart he really is. He
understands the game extremely well. Even if he gets mad, he’ll be
able to control it and keep his business his business. He’s
incredibly smart, like off-the-charts smart. I think he’s going to
be much too smart to fall for that.”
Diaz is also smart, though, and has ways of baiting opponents into
fighting his fight.
Diaz as a fighter, I really like him because he’s one of those
few fighters that can almost always make somebody play his game,”
Jackson said. “He does it in really smart ways. He’ll back you up
against the fence and basically have a shootout that he’s probably
going to win. If you take him down, you’ve got to deal with some
really good ground skills. If you don’t engage that, he throws his
arms up. He starts trying to punk you. He tries to attack your
manhood so that you get mad at him, so that you do start playing
that game. He’s really smart at what he does. He’s very, very
clever, but as long as you stay away from those things, as long as
you control those elements, you have a good chance of winning. It’s
just dealing with that really, really smart pressure that he has
that makes this fight interesting.”
Of course, even if Diaz does get St. Pierre upset, that might not
be a good thing, in Jackson’s view.
“Up to the fight, I’m sure [St. Pierre] will be emotionally
invested in it,” Jackson said. “I wouldn’t want to see Georges
upset. I’ll put it that way. He’s a son of a gun even when he’s
calm and rational. … I’ve worked with that guy for years, and if
you got him really upset and he stays focused, that would be a very
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 1:40:07).