It's snowing in Quebec, and there are a lot of thirsty, emaciated fighters waiting to step on the scales. These things aren't related. They are just facts. Happy Friday everyone. At last we've arrived to GSP/Diaz Eve. Strange, but alluring lead up to the fight. Diaz is being a perfect Diaz. GSP is barely able to hide his own distaste for media obligations. And you know what that means? People like me (media) are the true bad guys in this setting. Let's get this thing rolling!
What would be a bigger PR nightmare for the UFC? GSP winning and then testing positive for PED's or Diaz winning and then testing positive for marijuana metabolites for the 3rd time?
Neither one of those scenarios would be ideal, Mark. I would have to think that GSP testing positive for PEDs would be worse. That's one of their primary stars, and he's been so great for so long (clean image, etc). That would hurt. Diaz's wouldn't be a shock.
Is Nate Diaz just trying to create a buzz with the steroids talk or is he being for real?
Not sure. I think he just fires off whatever comes into his conscience at a given moment. He might think that GSP's on steroids. It wouldn't be the first time somebody has insinuated it (though Diaz did more than insinuate).
Lets talk about Johny Hendricks. Too much Diaz.Can he take Condit down and GNP him? I'm afraid Condit may do the backpedal/circle pepper routine like he did to Diaz....
I have a hard time envisioning this one. I think Condit will steer clear of that left hand, but at the same time, I think he won't back down from exchanges. I see Condit winning this thing on the feet.
Hey Bro, got your wolf tickets for tomorrow night?
I got a small gang of them. I am eating them right up.
Big Rashad fan. Is this close to the end for him? I know his family life last year was difficult and it affected him. Or is his motivation slipping?
That listless performance against Lil Nog told me that his head wasn't in the fight. I know he's lost some motivation, and it hasn't been fun for him for a little while. We'll see how he handles this Henderson fight. If he comes out flat again, might be about the end of the road for Rashad (I think he'll be motivated, though).
Sup, Chuckie? As we know Diaz can be unpredictable and he hates GSP's lay and pray tactics. We know thats gonna happen so after 20 minutes of it, could you see Nick doing something nuts and getting disqualified?
With Diaz, anything is possible. I admit, it's hard for me to imagine a scenario where GSP decides to engage Diaz in a dogfight. He just doesn't relent that way.
Hey bro, what did you learn at the Sloan conference?
Unfortunately, didn't end up speaking on the panel. Had another situation come up and didn't make it. Heard it was good, though, with Dominick Cruz sitting in. Looking forward to next year.
Chuck, how many ppv buys do you see UFC 158 getting on ppv? I think it can hit 800,000.
That would be a tremendous number. I would guess a little south of that. Perhaps in the 600,000 range. But Diaz has been doing his bit. This thing is selling itself.
Do you think that Diaz' trash talk is just an attempt to push GSP into trying to finish and potentially making a mistake or is this just Diaz unable to keep his mouth shut?
My man. I do think there's some psychology in play. Diaz keeps mentioning (unprompted) that wrestlers who stall should be penalized with point deductions. He keeps talking about boring, lay and pray. The idea is to get GSP to do something other than that, but I somehow doubt it'll work. GSP is going to exploit whatever weakness he sees, and if that's pinning Diaz on the ground for five rounds, he'll do it.
What was the dust-up between Dana White and Ariel Helwani about?
Dana thought Ariel was antagonizing Diaz. He anticipated the questions, and wanted to steer things to the fight. It was a little strange in that room. Diaz's presence puts everyone on edge.
At what point do we see a super fight: GSP vs Anderson Silvia, Jon Jones vs Anderson Silvia ect?
I asked Dana yesterday. He threw out a long series of if's. IF Jones beats Sonnen, and IF Silva takes care of Weidman, and IF GSP beats Diaz...they would arrange a superfight for November. Which guy gets Silva? He didn't know yet. I think it should be Jones/Silva.
Why don't you guys do the play by play for the ppv's anymore? Plan on bringing that back anytime soon?
We'll be providing play-by-play tomorrow on ESPN.com live from Montreal. I think the coverage starts at 8:30 EST. Come join in, Seth.
The one fight everyone's over-looking is Marquardt Ellenberger. Am I crazy thinking this could be an absolute barn burner?
No, I sort of like this fight, too. Ellenberger just throws bombs. Marquardt does too. That first round could be crazy.
Gsp comes out like a rocket ship suet aggressive and blast Diaz into orbit first round ko and maybe he knocks some sense into Diaz
This is among the possibilities.
If Tate beats Cat Zingano, any chance te UFC does TUF Rousey vs. Tate with all female fighters? TUF to me is just beaten to death.
Somebody asked me this a couple of weeks back. I don't think so. Not yet. I think they want to put Tate/Rousey on the July 4 card (or Zingano/Rousey). Think they need to have her fight more before they set up a TUF (though I do think that should happen at some point).
What's next for Johny Hendricks if he loses tomorrow? Would he have to reel off 3-4 in row just to get back where he is today?
There's this sinking feeling with that. So many people have been in situations similar to his, just need to win one more to get the title fight, and then lose. In Hendricks case, he'd be set back, but he might be able to bounce back into that seat pretty quickly. Look at Diaz. He lost to Condit and here he is. Of course, those were special/privileged circumstances.
Am I the only one not interested in gsp silva superfight, silva dominates not only mw, but is 3-0 in lhw all by ko.. Not interested in him fighting a smaller fighter
I've actually heard more than a few people say they don't have any big interest in GSP/Silva. I can understand that. I think Jones/Silva is more alluring. Then again, if GSP/Silva was actually booked, by the time it came around I'd be stoked about it.
Buy or Sell Diaz fails the drug test
Seems so 50/50, doesn't it? I will say...sell. Those metabolites were purged with the toxic airplane water.
UFC messed this card up. Should have been GSP vs Hendricks, Condit vs Marquardt, and Diaz vs Ellenberger. Diaz vs Ellenberger would have been the barn-burner for however long it lasted.
Too late now, Ken. However, we might see any/all of those next time.
If TUF does a female only season...it will be canceled shortly after.WNBA, Softball, Women's boxing, etc.
Given the "reality" slant, I think it would be a refreshing change. Not sure how "casuals" would view it. But Rousey is a star. And the UFC needs to unearth some new talent to fill in the division, and what better way to do it? Plus, they give new girls exposure.
It would be great if GSP pummeled Diaz, then afterwards successfully sued Diaz for slander.
Nick will finish GSP with a Gogoplota 2nd round. Take it to the bank!
Dana's not thinking too highly of you right now, Cesar.
You change time without notice? You can't duck The Last Emperor! Is GSP going to deliver another boring judges decision? I feel like it's been years since he had a finish...
Had to bump up by an hour to avoid overlapping with weigh-ins, Emperor. This thing has all the makings of a decision type fight. Diaz has a chin. And you're right, it's literally been years since GSP got a finish (BJ Penn, UFC 94, didn't answer the fifth round bell). I think St-Pierre fairly desperately wants to finish Diaz....but he might have to get dirty to do it.
We have your picks, but how do you think the top 3 fights are finished, Dec, TKO, Tap?
I'm taking GSP by decision, Condit by TKO and Ellenberger by TKO.
It seems odd to me that Wineland is getting a shot at the interim title. Wasn't this the same guy that got dominated by Faber when they made the move from the WEC? Seems like this fight will be one-sided.
Not a lot of options, so Wineland is the guy. Good opportunity for him, and an unforeseen one for many fans. I think he makes better since than any of the others. I'm with you though....don't like his chances.
Do you believe this will fuel GSP or throw him off his game? I think Diaz is in for a long night.
I think he'll zero in on what he needs to do to win. No reason to think he'll suddenly abandon the game plan and stand in the pocket trading dukes. However....that would be a an awesome surprise if he does.
Do you think this fight plays out any different to Diaz/Henderson? Stylistically similar to me so I could see a similar outcome.
Legit chance that we're staring at GSP's back muscles for five rounds.
Is Daniel Cormier the real deal?
He's definitely legit. He's a wrecking ball. I think he can beat about anybody. Problem is, he won't fight Velasquez, so his northbound trek might have a detour (to 205).
While its true about GSP not getting finishes, it's not like he gets close to retiring fighters, Bonner, etc.
That's true. He has had to face some big challenges. Fitch, Alves, Hughes, Condit. When you consider some of Silva's conquests, the difference is there. Cote, Leites, Bonnar, Irvine, et al. St-Pierre has fought guys who were at their best heading in.
How can people claim GSP is boring? He beats the tar out of every top welter in the world, standing and on the ground! Ask Koscheck's orbital bone.......
"Boring" is sometimes confused with "predictable."
Does Mark Hunt really have a chance against JDS? He's yet to fight an athlete anywhere near Dos Santos' level yet in the UFC...
I mean, he has a chance for sure. Those are some anvils he's throwing. JDS likes to stand, and so does Hunt. Stylistically, it's a far better fight for Hunt than Velasquez would be. So, I think he has a chance.
As much as I am hoping for a great fight, I think we all know GSP will take Diaz down, do whatever it is he does there and win by decision and make me swear that I will never buy another PPV with GSP headlining (although I still begrudgingly do)?
You aren't alone in this. Maybe we're all in for a big surprise?
Hi Chuck, keep up the good work. I read your GSP stuff and it boggles the mind that GSP is so highly ranked. Nice guy, elite wrestler/athlete. But FOUR years since his last "finish" again BJ. He couldn't finish ground gameless Hardy, a one eyed Koshchek, or stand-up joke Shields. Isn't that just a step up from what the recently cut Jon Fitch was doing, of course without the losses? I personally can't bear to watch his snoozefest of a fight, isn't it as much about entertainment. Is the UFC rewarding his "fight not to lose" style just for their stake in Canada?
I think that GSP varies his game more than Fitch. He stood with Koscheck and Shields (smartly), and took down people like Hardy and Alves. That last fight with Condit had some fun moments. He's dominant, and people like that. He has that star aura that people also like. Fitch was a grinder, plain and simple. (I do feel like the UFC would be extremely grateful for a GSP finish, though).
PPV buys? Highest of the year to date, right?
I think so. I don't know the numbers for UFC 157 or the Super Bowl card, but I think this one trumps those.
In the history of crazy(clinical term) prize fighters where does Nick Diaz fit?
Going back through boxing's history, and then 20 years of MMA, there's been so many. Diaz's brand of "crazy" is uniquely his own. He's like a beat poet improvising over some loopy jazz number. Only, his stuff is about the hood and wolf tickets and gum getting stuck in his hair.
Any idea as to when the next round of UFC cuts will be? I've heard Rick Story's name being thrown out a lot when talked about getting cut if he loses.
I think he's definitely on the bubble. He needs a win in the worst way. Losing that far down on the prelims against a guy not a lot of people have heard of? Not good.
Just heard an interview with S Bonnar; he doesn't sound all there. What's up with Bonnar? Has he lost it?
You talking about the Helwani interview? He did seem a little beat up and afield. Then his wife got angry at him, which felt like an extra kick to the ribcage.
Buy or sell GSP standing with Diaz.
Selling it, but I'd rather buy.
Put a percentage of Diaz's chances.
I'll say a standard gratuity, 15%.
how big of an upset would diaz over gsp be? would it be bigger than serra's ko of him?
I don't think it would register as bigger than Serra. Serra was a retread coming off that "Comeback" season of TUF. He was supposed to be a gimme fight. Diaz was the champion in Strikeforce, and between late 2007-2010, finished every guy he faced.
Tell me that Johnny Hendricks will get a title shot if he wins. Tell me that.
Kris: Johny Hendricks will get a title shot if he wins. (Unless, of course, he doesn't).
What's the vibe up there in Montreal? Fans excited to see them some more GSP?
My hotel is right next to the Bell Centre, and there are plenty of people hanging about talking about GSP. Each time we're here, sales for the GSP headbands go through the roof.
Hi Chuck, as someone studying journalism, what is the best way to get into MMA journalism?
These days there are so many sites. Find a credible one, and pitch some pieces to get experience. Just write. Try to avoid puff pieces; this industry is saturated with that. Good luck to you, Paddy.
When is curen comeing over !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wish it soon, but that's not the case. Would love to see him in the UFC. Think he's phenomenal.
Are you at all excited about the prospect of GSP/Condit 2? I don't see how that fight would play out any differently.
Not particularly. I think Hendricks/GSP has a lot of interesting factors. Speaking to Condit yesterday, he said he'd let it all hang out more in a rematch. Me? I wouldn't be overly excited to see them play it back so quickly.
Where has Phil Davis been?
He's got a fight with Vinny Magalhaes next month. Saw him at the hotel bar last night with Luke Rockhold and Tyron Woodley.
Diaz wins. Who does he call out?
Interesting. Condit? If Condit wins. If not, I have no earthly idea, but my guess is the UFC would investigate an immediate rematch with GSP.
If Diaz wins Round 1 it changes everything...sounds extreme, but i think that gets GSP to become more agressive
It will be interesting if Diaz gets a fast start in this fight. We know he has cardio.
Will Anderson be at UFC 158?
I don't think so. No real reason to be here, since he's not stalking down GSP anymore.
How can the UFC NOT strip Cruz of his title? His last fight was October 2011!
Can't do that when his hiatus is injury-related. If it were a contract dispute, or a refusal to take fights, or something acrimonious, then they would/should. What's sucks for Cruz is he'll have to fight Barao after so long out of the cage. OUCH.
chucky, hope you're enjoying the great white north my man. did you find some poutine yet?
No, haven't dabbled that way. Did find some good microbrews, though. It's so cold up here. Haven't been walking around like I did in November.
Has Sherk officially retired or is he still coming back?
He hasn't officially retired. I think he's still planning another fight, but it's been a long, long time since that Evan Dunham fight.
What do you think of St Pierre's plan to fight Diaz, Hendricks and then Silva before retiring?
Lot of presumption in that scenario, Peter. He has to beat Diaz. And then Hendricks has to beat Condit. And Silva has to beat Weidman. Etc. But, if all goes according to plan, I have no problem with it.
Will say this about GSP: I think fight week really grates his nerves. He hates the media days when he's presented the same question in a billion different packages. He has been exceptionally surly this time. Not in a good mood at all. Diaz has probably made him that way. Doesn't seem like it's a fun process for him.
Is Nick Diaz pointing out boring wrestlers publicly to get Georges to actually fight?
I think there's some truth to that, yes. I think he wants to lure GSP into a dogfight (his kind of scrap). I think, too, he wants people to voice their frustration if GSP does indeed end up laying on him for five rounds.
Chuck, contrary to what a few various websites are saying, it seemed to me that in his scrum Dana didn't sound too open to the idea of Condit getting the GSP rematch if he defeats Hendricks. In that scenario, and GSP defeats Diaz, who do you see as the next viable challenger at 170 provided there are no super fights? Might be Maia but i think he gets steamrolled by GSP on his worst day
Possibly Jake Ellenberger, should he beat Nate Marquardt. To me, that's the fight. Maia is up there. So is Rory MacDonald, which would have legs, and would actually pique interest given the whole "teammates" turning on each other angle (if they would). But Ellenberger should get it.
Am I alone in thinking Mia should fight Rory
Nope. I think that would make sense. Still think that Condit/MacDonald will get remade.
If Nate Marquardt beats up Ellenberger, where do you think he'll be in the 170-pound division? Seems like a golden opportunity to jump the ranks!
Definitely gives Marquardt a huge boost into the top ten with a win over Ellenberger. After losing to Saffiedine, though, he'd still be a couple of fights away from that contender spot.
Speaking of stacked the fights that are coming up are crazy good. Seems like ever card has a few "wow" fights. What fight are you most looking forward too? Matt Brown Vs Dan Hardy has got fight of the year potential for me!
Matt Brown against anybody looks good to me. Also Cub Swanson against Frankie Edgar (though it's not made, and may not get made) sounds fun.
Sup Chuck! Haven't been this excited for a card in ages! Stacked main card! Hopefully it wont disappoint. What do you think will be the best fight and what do you think will be the biggest shock of the night?
Marquardt has a good chance of beating Ellenberger. That could happen. I think Condit/Hendricks will be a great scrap.
hey chuck, always enjoy writing in. We all know GSP cant even finish a coloring book, yet he says hes gonna knock Diaz out. How do you see the fight going down?
It's not out of the question that GSP will establish his game plan, rocket some elbows into Diaz's brow for a few rounds while on top, and then finish him via TKO in the fourth.
What do you think of Mark Hunt getting a title shot if he beats Dos Santos? I think it's awesome, but I think he loses the fight. Even thigh he is dangerous on the feet, he gets hit quite a bit sometimes. And that wouldn't be good against a knockout artist like JDS.
Such a strange career, Mark Hunt's. Comes into the UFC as a inherited piece from Pride. They try and buy him out, but he says no. Then he loses to McCorkle in the most undramatic way possible (armbar, in a minute's time). He's then 5-7 overall in MMA. And now here we are talking about him in possible title fights. Crazy.
Damn, thought this started at 4. Anyway, hey Chuck. Just wanted to ask, do you think Overeem is one loss away from getting cut? Lot of baggage that keeps getting added to the guy.
Very possible. Particularly is he loses his next fight in an ugly way. He does carry a lot of baggage.
why is nobody talking about how good diaz is off his back its dangerous to keep him down for 5 rounds
I've heard that all week. I wrote about it this week, too. He is dangerous off his back, but I don't think he's dangerous enough to finish St-Pierre there. If he does, it'd have to be early.
I know it's a long shot however if Diaz somehow wins the title do you think he would call out Anderson Silva right off the bat?
With Diaz, it's impossible to know. I wouldn't be surprised by that. But somebody will have to break it to him gently that Silva is already booked. (I bet Silva would much rather fight Diaz next instead of Weidman, though).
How incredible is it being able to watch these fights cage side and have it all paid for? Do you just take a step back and take it all in? You guys should do a go to a UFC fight with chuck contest. Give one of us guys a chance to enjoy it like you do.
It's pretty amazing to hear the grunts and thuds and punches that close. Sounds like cantaloupes being thrown at brick walls sometimes. Also cool to hear the corner's instruction. But there are some hindrances. Cameramen standing in your vision, the posts, etc. You end up watching some of the fight on the jumbo screen. (I'm all for your idea, though...would love to sit with fans instead of media).
Buy or Sell: Dana eliminates TRT from the UFC... Bonus: If so, Over/Under 5 years
Commissions will have to play a big role in this, but I'll buy it (within five years). Maybe I'm just an optimist.
way to jinx the hawks last week.... (no bueno)
Yes, sorry about that. I envisioned a 3-1 type of game. 6-2? Didn't see that coming.
Chuck!!!!Considering Matt Serra and BJ Penn both busted GSP up on the feet in their respective first fights, wouldnt it stand to reason Diaz could be a nightmare for GSP?
If GSP stood with him for long, yeah. Will he, though? That's the question. I sort of doubt he will (for long).
Hey Chuck, I am rooting for GSP but cant help but be intrigued by Diaz. All I ask for is some condoned, gratuitous violence and a finish by either guy. I think they would both come out with more respect for each other and from the fans if the both fight for a stoppage and not just a decision.
We have such simple needs, Dan. I hope it pans out.
Wes Welker now a Denver Bronco. To you go all the spoils!
The Broncos could save some cap room by simply cutting their punter. They won't need him. And, as I told somebody the other day when it happened, I doubt we'll even see any third down situations. (You see? I am an optimist).
Its fun to watch the GSP bashing keyboard warriors at work. It takes crazy guts to crawl in a cage.
It does. Agree.
Will ESPN run highlights of the fight? I won't get to watch them, unfortunately.
I think so. We have Todd Grisham out here, and he'll be interviewing fighters back stage after each bout.
sup, chuck -- saw you're taking condit. hope you're right. would love to see condit and gsp II.
Might just happen, Tyler...might just happen.
Dude, loved the piece you did about Dana and Nick. " Dana White, who was looking down at him with a red, muted face as if to interject (or destroy him via telepathy)." So perfect. Keep up the good work man!
Thanks, Mark. Love writing those little Notes and Nuggets type of pieces, but it was a full bounty of material after yesterday's press conference. Diaz writes his own columns. (Imagine him as the champion...)
Evening Chuck. Teixera/ Te Huna; Who's your winner?
Great fight. Te Huna is a sleeper here. I still think Teixeira gets it done, but Te Huna is no joke. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if he derailed the Teixeira train.
Who gets fed to Overeem to get that rabid mongoose back on track??
Feel like we might have to see how the May fights turn out.
OK, guys, I need to close up shop here. The weigh-ins are underway. Have fun watching the fights, and make sure and join us at ESPN.com for live analysis and commentary beginning at 8:30pm EST. If I didn't get to your question (and there were tons today!), hit my Twitter -- @ChuckMindenhall.