Monday March 18, 2013

MONTREAL (AP) -- UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre manhandled Nick Diaz for five rounds en route to a lopsided unanimous decision at UFC 158 on Saturday night.

St-Pierre (24-2) pitched a shutout, winning 50-45 on all three judges’ cards.

"Nick Diaz is a good guy," said the champion, looking to end the bad blood between the two.

Diaz, who said he was flat after a 13-month layoff, thanked St-Pierre "for giving him the credit I think I deserve."

Diaz came to the fight with a chip on his shoulder and plenty of attitude. He leaves with a loss and lumps on his face, although he showed the champion respect after the fight.

As expected, St-Pierre used his wrestling to control the chirpy challenger, rag-dolling him at times and bullying him on the ground. But he also used his jab and kicks to pick apart the challenger on his feet.

After the bout, Diaz said his fighting days may be over. He backed off the statement after coming late to the news conference and added he wanted a rematch with St-Pierre or perhaps Carlos Condit.

Diaz came out to a chorus of boos, one man against a champion backed by thousands in the stands. He calmly walked inside the cage, his four corner men urging him on.

Then the lights dimmed and St-Pierre followed, bouncing up and down in his traditional karate garb to pulsating French-language rap. The crowd erupted.


Advertisement

Diaz walked over to the cage and yelled something as St-Pierre prepared to enter. It didn’t seem like a hello. Montreal referee Yves Lavigne then moved over to keep a close watch on the challenger.

The place was rocking before the cage doors closed.

St-Pierre’s first takedown came seconds later. Diaz looked to work a submission, but the champion controlled him, firing punches as Diaz tried to get up. A pair of elbows produced a knot on the challenger’s forehead.

The crowd started chanting "Ole! Ole!" St-Pierre responded by dropping Diaz on his head, capping a dominant first round.

St-Pierre landed another takedown 40 seconds into the second round and soon had Diaz on his knees face down again, hitting him with knees and punches. Diaz’s face was showing damage.

Diaz tried to get in the champ’s face as the round ended.

Diaz went down again in the third, after eating some punches. When Diaz got back up, he fired some leg kicks and scored with some jabs. Then St-Pierre dumped him, battering him on the ground.

Diaz flicked a punch after the bell at St-Pierre, whose face was bloodied.

Both men looked tired in the fourth, but St-Pierre scored another takedown and Diaz soon had the champion clamped to him again.

The two clinched in the fifth before Diaz fell attempting a kick. St-Pierre jumped on him and Diaz was again face down on the mat. The fight finished fittingly with St-Pierre on top and the crowd roaring.

The two shook hands, hugged and Diaz raised St-Pierre’s hand.