GSP-Diaz, MacDonald-Condit, Hendricks-Ellenberger at UFC 158
Fight Network Staff / December 15, 2012 - 10:55pm
Las Vegas, Nevada – Fresh off unifying the welterweight title in November following an 18-month absence due to injury, UFC® welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre returns to Montreal's Bell Centre on March 16, 2013 to face former STRIKEFORCE® champion Nick Diaz. St-Pierre (23-2) has scored 10 consecutive victories in his dominant reign atop the 170-pound division but no other opponent has motivated him as much as the fiery and unpredictable Diaz.
"Georges St-Pierre asked to fight Nick Diaz because he knows they have unfinished business, and Nick Diaz agrees," UFC President Dana White said.
The always-diplomatic St-Pierre, 31, has defeated the likes of Carlos Condit, Matt Hughes (twice), Jon Fitch, BJ Penn (twice), Josh Koscheck (twice) and Jake Shields, but no other opponent has fueled him as much as the southpaw from Stockton, Calif. The pair was originally slated to meet at UFC® 137 but a series of events, including a St-Pierre knee injury, prevented the match up from ever taking place.
"There's been a lot of talk about who I should fight next but this was really the only choice for me," said St-Pierre. "He's made it personal and I personally can't wait."
During his reign as STRIKEFORCE® welterweight champion, Nick Diaz defeated archrival KJ Noons and finished both Evangelista Santos and Paul Daley en route to becoming the organization's best 170-pound fighter. He's since returned to the UFC® with an impressive win over former two-time champion BJ Penn before an interim title loss to Carlos Condit and a year-long disciplinary suspension. Diaz now, though, gets the fight he's so eagerly awaited.
"This is the fight I want," Diaz said. "I want to go out there and beat Georges St-Pierre in Montreal and show that I'm the best welterweight in the world."
In addition to St-Pierre-Diaz, four more of the UFC®'s top-10 welterweights will clash at the Bell Centre while one fighter gets a shot at redemption following a controversial disqualification loss at the same venue just four months removed.
With his recent dominating win over legend BJ Penn, Rory MacDonald (14-1) looks to avenge his only career loss against former interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (28-6). The pair met at UFC® 115 in a bout that saw Condit come from behind and register a third-round TKO win with mere seconds remaining.
Not to be overshadowed, title-hungry Johny Hendricks (14-1), coming off his recent Montreal knockout win over welterweight Martin Kampmann, will be looking to cement his place as number one contender as he meets the always-dangerous Jake Ellenberger (28-6).
Adding to the evening action will be middleweight Alessio Sakara (19-10, 1 NC), who gets a shot at revenge against hometown favorite Patrick Côté (19-8). The pair met at UFC® 154 in Montreal in a bout that saw Sakara suffer a disqualification loss for landing multiple strikes to the back of Côté's head.
Tickets for UFC 158: ST. PIERRE vs. DIAZ go on sale to the general public Saturday, January 19 at 10 a.m. ET. More information regarding the UFC® 158 on-sale, ticket prices and the fight card will be announced next month. For more information or current fight news, visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
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Universally recognized for its action-packed, can't-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world's premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. In 2012, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which now airs on FX.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries and territories, to nearly 800 million TV households worldwide, in 30 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and Australia via Main Event and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with over two million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, and a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.