UFC

Is Diaz inside GSP's head?

GSP vs. Diaz: War of Words
GSP vs. Diaz: War of Words
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A.J. Perez

A.J. Perez previously worked at USA Today, AOL and CBSSports.com, covering beats ranging from performance-enhancing drugs to the NHL. He has also been a finalist for an Associated Press Sports Editors award for investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter.

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Georges St-Pierre is seen as one of the more stoic figures in UFC, a stone-like facade he shed minutes into a conference call with reporters to promote next weekend’s UFC 158.

“Let me tell you something, you uneducated fool,” St-Pierre scolded his fiery opponent, Nick Diaz, during Thursday’s call.

There’s been plenty of speculation as to whether Diaz could get into the head of St-Pierre, who will attempt to defend his welterweight belt for the ninth consecutive time at Montreal’s Bell Center on Saturday, March 16.

At least for a good portion of the call, it appeared Diaz did. Diaz, in often rambling responses, zinged St-Pierre several times during the 40-minute call. Among the best — and usually offensive — lines offered by Diaz:

• “I don’t know what he’s going through with this whole dark side or where he comes from or whatever. I know where the (expletive) I come from. I don’t have to dredge up some (expletive) to get everybody excited.”

• “My life is a mess. I work hard regardless. I don’t have people toweling me off and handing me water bottles left and right and getting my training ready for me. I have to do that (stuff) on my own. I don’t have people sending tweets out for me or people taking care of my money. I’m too busy fighting all your fights.”

• “If I had that much money I’d have myself pampered the (expletive) up. I’d have people pampering my (expletive) left and (expletive) right every hour on the hour.

With those types of remarks from Diaz, it’s understandable why St-Pierre couldn’t help himself to react.

"I don’t think you are smart enough to understand what you need to do to reach that point,” St-Pierre said.

St-Pierre, a native francophone, also said he speaks better English than Diaz at one point in the call.

“Do you seriously believe I'm afraid of you?” St-Pierre asked Diaz.

Carlos Condit — who has been in the Octagon against both fighters — told FOXSports.com that come March 16, Diaz could “possibly” get into St-Pierre’s head enough to topple the longtime champ.

“Georges has a huge beef with Diaz because he’s talked a lot of trash about him,” said Condit, who faces Johny Hendricks in the co-main event of UFC 158. “That’s what Diaz does. He tries to get into your head. He tries to ruffle your feathers. He wants to get in your face to force you into a punching competition with him.”

Diaz ridiculed St-Pierre’s style, which emphasizes winning by wrestling and grappling more than knockouts.

“If anything I'm the superhero coming in with the anti-bull (expletive),” Diaz said. “This is MMA. This is something boring (expletive) we're watching lately.”

It's obvious where Diaz was getting his motivation, outside the typical “underdog” tact. Diaz said he didn’t like the way he’s been portrayed in promotional TV spots for UFC 158. In the commercial, UFC president Dana White said St-Pierre told him Diaz was “the most disrespectful person he had ever met and I’m going to put the worst beating you have ever seen on him in the UFC.”

“You believe that I deserve to be beat down for whatever I’ve done in my life?” Diaz said.

“Now I believe you deserve (it),” St-Pierre quipped.

St-Pierre said previously he’d go to “a dark place” in his mind to overcome any challenge Diaz would pose in the Octagon. St-Pierre didn’t specify what that was, but those on Twitter began to speculate what that dark place was for a fighter who has the reputation of being a nice, if not boring, individual.

One of the more humorous tweets came from a fellow fighter.

“Getting a free water cup and filling it up with Sprite,” UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez wrote on Twitter.

St-Pierre said he didn’t know about the minor Twitter phenomenon regarding his dark place. Furthermore, he said he doesn’t handle his Twitter account that has more than 626,000 followers.

That gave Diaz another opening to basically call St-Pierre a phony.

“He’s got somebody making Twitter (messages) for him,” Diaz said. “He has people living for him (in public).”

Of course, it will be St-Pierre, not one of his reps in the cage next weekend. It should be clear fairly quickly whether it will be the same calculated GSP — or one who took the bait laid out by Diaz.

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