As UFC 158 fast approaches, the tension in the main event between champion Georges St-Pierre and challenger Nick Diaz is starting to become palpable.
A lot of fighters and journalists will place their predictions on this fight over the next couple of weeks, but no one may be more qualified to give their opinion on the upcoming title fight than former UFC interim champion Carlos Condit.
Condit's last two fights have been back-to-back versus the UFC 158 main event fighters, first against Nick Diaz, whom he defeated to win the interim title, and then a loss to Georges St-Pierre in his last bout in November 2012.
The New Mexico native is preparing for his own fight against Johny Hendricks in the co-main event of UFC 158 but took time to place his prediction on the upcoming fight between St-Pierre and Diaz.
"Nick is tough and he's got a different style, but I really think it's going to come down to GSP's athleticism. Diaz kind of has that same pace, just kind of a constant medium pace as far as his striking, his explosiveness," Condit explained while breaking things down when speaking to Bleacher Report on Thursday.
St-Pierre's athleticism is just a different animal, according to Condit, who admits he was caught off guard by his speed and efficiency when they fought at UFC 154.
"Georges is super fast," said Condit. "On some of his shots, he was in on me before I even realized he was shooting. So, I really feel like that's going to be the difference."
While Condit can absolutely work his way back into title contention with a win over Johny Hendricks, who most believe is the true uncrowned title challenger in the welterweight division, a Nick Diaz victory would almost assuredly give him the next crack at the belt.
Condit beat Diaz by unanimous decision in 2012 to win the interim UFC title, and if both fighters win at UFC 158, it would seem natural to pit them against each other in a rematch for the welterweight gold.
When looking at the matchup however, Condit just doesn't see a way Diaz beats St-Pierre in their fight on March 16 in Montreal.
"Honestly I don't see Georges finishing Diaz, but I think we're going to see another GSP decision," said Condit.
St-Pierre is the overwhelming favorite heading into the bout, and the incumbent champion has been dominant throughout his second reign as UFC welterweight king.
Condit's path back to a title shot would probably be quicker served with a Diaz victory, but considering he has a loss on his record to St-Pierre, there's no doubt he would enjoy washing the taste of that defeat out of his mouth as well.
Is "The Natural Born Killer" calling this one correctly? Will Georges St-Pierre simply be too much for Nick Diaz and beat him soundly over five rounds?
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.
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