Heading into this weekend’s UFC 158 main event, many believe that the only way Nick Diaz can defeat Georges St-Pierre is to get inside his head. Diaz no doubt has tried up until this point, evident by his obscenity-laced tirade on last week’s conference call.
We saw GSP respond in a more animated way than we’ve seen, but it was still rather calm and reserved for trash talk. And it’s not going to end up getting to him according to St-Pierre’s coach Greg Jackson, who today told Sherdog Radio:
“I don’t think so just because Georges is so smart. 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.”
It’s obviously true that GSP is an intelligent and calculating fighter. He has accused Nick Diaz of being just the opposite. What’s for certain is that they are definitely different fighters whose styles outside the cage contrast as much as their styles in it.
And while Diaz has certainly tried to get St-Pierre to lose his emotional calm, Jackson believes that this is exactly what he might not want to do:
“Up to the fight, I’m sure [St. Pierre] will be emotionally invested in it. 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 dangerous individual.”
It’s tough to think that GSP will lose his focus and do something stupid on Saturday night. But anything is possible in MMA. Has GSP progressed so far that his focus and mentality cannot be wavered?
Of course his shocking loss to Matt Serra has taught him a lot about safety in fighting. We just haven’t seen that killer instinct from GSP that his younger self possessed in a big way. Will it return in Montreal this weekend?