UFC 241 was a night to remember for fans of mixed martial arts. Not only did the monumental event feature an electric title bout and an exciting middleweight contest, it marked the return of one of the sport’s brightest stars – Nate Diaz.
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Diaz, 34, made his first octagon appearance in just under three years, soundly defeating former lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis via unanimous decision.
Many believed the performance put on by Diaz was the best of his 32-fight career, including Georges St-Pierre, who spoke to Chael Sonnen about the action-packed card.
The former two-weight world champion had nothing but praise for the Stockton native, admitting that he himself did not expect to see the Nate Diaz that showed up.
“I was afraid that Nate Diaz [wouldn’t] have come back the same. He didn’t come back the same, he came back even better than he was before and it’s amazing [because] it’s at 170, not 155, so it just shows you how good he is. It was amazing.”
After his stellar performance, Diaz was interviewed on the ESPN panel by the likes of Henry Cejudo and Chael Sonnen.
He proceeded to call out St-Pierre, who announced his retirement from mixed martial arts earlier this year, on behalf of his older brother Nick.
Nick Diaz fought Georges St-Pierre in 2013 for the UFC welterweight title, ultimately falling short to one of MMA’s best. The build-up to that bout was full of tension and animosity; GSP had never hated an opponent like Diaz before. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen Nick compete in combat sports since 2015.
“I think this guy [Nick] is going to hate me until the day I die. It’s unbelievable,” laughed St Pierre.
“I know he doesn’t like me and he looks to get me all the time but man, I genuinely like the guy, I’m telling you the truth. If I were to see him in trouble, [or] in a situation of trouble and I [were] the only person that could help him, I would go help him. I don’t think it would be the other way around but I don’t know what to say. He’s one of my biggest adversaries, even if we only fought once, we’re [both] very different personalities. I think that’s why [we never got on] – the clash of personalities.”
When asked if a rematch with Nick seemed plausible, the former champion had to disagree for a multitude of reasons.
“Man, I’m retired now,” said GSP. “I don’t want to fight his brother Nick Diaz – that’s not interesting for me. [There is] nothing I can gain from that. The risk is not worth the reward.”
“It’s been done. Not only that but [there] would have to be some kind of reward in terms of legacy or that sort of thing, [but] there’s nothing good that can come out of it.”
It looks as if a potential bout between Georges St-Pierre and any Diaz fighter is highly unlikely to materialize in the near future.
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.