UFC

UFC 158 Picks – Will St-Pierre knock out Nick Diaz

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UFC 158 Picks The brilliant Georges St-Pierre takes on tough Nick Diaz in the main event at UFC 158. St-Pierre hasn’t lost since Matt Sera beat him in April of 2007. That’s a streak of 10 straight victories. Is there a better fighter to back in all of MMA?

UFC 158 PicksAlso on the card, Carlos Condit battles the 14 and 1 Johny Hendricks. Hendricks appears to be in line for a title fight with a victory, but Condit has major experience with 28 wins and only 6 losses. The third fight pits Nick Ring against Chris Camozzi. Ring is looking to get into the Top 10 in the rankings while Camozzi is looking to move up in the rankings.

Let’s analyze three of the top fights at this Saturday’s UFC 158 Picks!

UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz
When: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

Nick Diaz 27-8-1 vs. Georges St-Pierre 23-2

Analysis: GSP is one of the greats of the sport. He actually started fighting at UFC when the event number was in the low 70s. The fact that he fights at UFC 158 speaks to how quickly the sport has grown. St-Pierre hasn’t knocked out a guy since dropping B.J. Penn in 2009. He did a number on Penn in that one, out striking B.J. 91 to 16, but since it was so long ago, some UFC fans have claimed GSP is boring, willing to stick it out for a decision instead of knocking anybody out.

That’s absolutely not true. St-Pierre is the most tactical fighter at UFC right now. Sure, he doesn’t knock guys out, but he’s definitely not boring. He can do it all, force his opponents to the mat, out strike them, wear them down, and his defense is second to none. While some fans look to Georges St-Pierre and wonder about his power, true UFC fans marvel at his artistry. In GSP’s last fight versus Carlos Condit, he passed Condit’s guards 8 times while preventing Condit from passing a single guard against him. He out struck Condit 71 to 36 and took Condit down 7 times to 0.

With that being written, Nick Diaz is offering fantastic odds, +350, to upset St-Pierre on Saturday night and he has to be considered a live long shot. After all, even though Diaz does have 8 losses on his record, he’s lost only once, in February 2012 to Condit, since 2007. Diaz is a volume striker. Even in the Condit loss, Diaz managed to strike 105 times.

Expect St-Pierre to pull it out, but he’s not going to win a decision by out striking Diaz. GSP is going to have to use his ground game in order to get the lengthier Diaz to possibly submit. If St-Pierre can frustrate Diaz by blocking most of his strikes, then he can wait for Diaz to make a mistake.

There’s a good chance of Georges St-Pierre breaking the non-knockout streak if that happens. Diaz might have to force the issue in the later rounds giving GSP the opening that he’ll need for the knockout.

Free Pick: Georges St-Pierre

Carlos Condit 28-6 vs. Johny Hendricks 14-1

Analysis: St-Pierre took his time versus Condit in Carlos’s loss at UFC 154. Although Carlos really never looked like he was in much trouble, it was obvious that he wasn’t on the same level as GSP. In the fight before, Condit managed to out strike Nick Diaz 151 to 105. He can fight on the ground as well because his grappling skills are at a very high level.

Hendricks is one of those ridiculously strong guys. It took Hendricks 2 strikes to knockout the tough John Fitch at UFC 141 in 2011. It took Hendricks 3 strikes in order to knockout the very good Martin Kampmann at UFC 154 last November. When Hendricks isn’t knocking guys out, he’s forcing take downs and using his exceptional wrestling abilities.

Hendricks is definitely the one to back in this battle. Condit is a good fighter, but Hendricks has the ability to be one of the best in MMA.

Free Pick: Johny Hendricks

Nick Ring 13-1 vs. Chris Camozzi 18-5

Analysis: This is an interesting battle between two decent fighters. Nick Ring is a decent fighter, the record shows it, but a look into the numbers reveals that he hasn’t exactly fought the best of the best. In fact, he was out struck 108 to 68 versus Court McGee in his last fight, but McGee didn’t provide a single pass while Ring provided 2 against McGee.

Ring only prevents 47% of take down attempts. Will it be a problem versus Camozzi who isn’t known as a takedown guy? Maybe.

The matchmaker at UFC did an excellent job bringing these two guys together. Both are strikers that have decent if not spectacular ground games.

The pick is Camozzi because of his Muay Thai and BJJ background. Camozzi might actually try to takedown Ring a couple of times. If he does that, because both of these guys figure to find success with their strikes, it should be enough for him to win the fight.

UFC 158 Picks Free Pick: Chris Camozzi.

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