Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Champion St-Pierre Gets the Opponent He Wanted in Diaz for UFC 158

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Champion St-Pierre Gets the Opponent He Wanted in Diaz for UFC 158

Article excerpt

St-Pierre anxious to fight Diaz at UFC 158

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MONTREAL - If there is unfinished business between welterweight king Georges St-Pierre and bad boy Nick Diaz, it will be settled at UFC 158 at the Bell Centre on March 16.

UFC boss Dana White wanted to pit St-Pierre against Anderson Silva, a bout many fans have waited for, but the champion from Montreal asked for Diaz.

"Georges has been a great champion and he's been great for the company and if he wants another fight, we'll make it for him," White said Wednesday at a news conference attended by a throng of media and about 100 fans. "We knew Nick wanted the fight, so it worked out."

It will be the main event on a card that features six of the top-10 ranked welterweights.

The co-feature between St-Pierre's training partner Rory (Ares) MacDonald (14-1) and Carlos Condit (28-6) and another 170-pound bout pitting Johny Hendricks (14-1) against Jake Ellenberger (28-6) may help decide who St-Pierre's future opponents will be, if he stretches his winning streak to 11 by defeating Diaz.

"This is the big fight that people wanted to see, more than any other guy," said St-Pierre (23-2). "For me, Nick is the No. 1 contender.

"There's a history between us. We both wanted this fight for a long time. Let's do it."

The two were scheduled to square off nearly two years ago, but Diaz (27-8-1) was dropped from the bout when he failed to turn up at two promotional events.

St-Pierre mentioned he was glad to see Diaz present and accounted for.

"I'm just happy to get the show on the road," said Diaz, the former Strikeforce champion. "I didn't make it to the last press conference.

"It wasn't very professional on my part. I wanted to fight, but I had to learn my lesson."

The 31-year-old St-Pierre returned from an 18-month injury layoff on Nov. 17 to defeat Condit by unanimous decision and retain the championship belt.

Another lesson for Diaz came last May when he was suspended for a year and fined a total of US$79,500 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for marijuana metabolites, retroactive to his Feb. …

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