Georges St-Pierre can’t stand Nick Diaz.
He can’t stand the way that Diaz disrespects him. He can’t stand the way that Diaz makes him feel like he has to be ready to fight at the drop of a hat, even when stepping off the elevator in Las Vegas. He can’t stand that he is actually rooting for Diaz to beat St-Pierre’s teammate Carlos Condit at UFC 143 on Saturday night.
Although they don’t train with one another, St-Pierre and Condit share many of the same training partners because of their association with coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.
“I respect Carlos Condit, but I want Diaz to win. I want this fight with Diaz so badly, as badly as I wanted the title shot when I got down on my knees,” said St-Pierre. “He needs to hold up his part and beat Carlos Condit on Saturday to make this fight happen.”
St-Pierre was originally slated to fight Diaz at UFC 137 last October, but a slew of events derailed that fight. Initially, Diaz was pulled from the bout by UFC president Dana White for missing promotional obligations and several flights.
Condit, who was scheduled to fight B.J. Penn, was then put into the challenger’s role against St-Pierre, and Diaz demoted to co-main event status against Penn.
An injury to St-Pierre, however, put his fight off altogether, pushing Diaz vs. Penn into the headlining role.
Following some promotional politics, St-Pierre vs. Diaz was then slated for UFC 143 this weekend… until St-Pierre’s knee injury hit the point of no return, forcing him out again.
With St-Pierre having last fought in April 2011, and initially expected to be out until sometime around November, the UFC decided not only to put Condit in against Diaz, but also to make the fight for the interim UFC welterweight championship.
St-Pierre’s timeline has since been revised, however, leaving him chomping at the bit to get back in the Octagon.
“I am ahead of schedule. I can already train and even kick, but I am remaining calm and not rushing. I won’t train properly until July,” St-Pierre said of his rehab, which would put him in line for a late summer return instead of having to wait until the initial fall/winter timeline.
His time out of the Octagon and the interim designation aren’t taken lightly by St-Pierre, who now says he doesn’t even consider himself the UFC champion, although he’s not ready to secede the title to Saturday night’s winner, either.
“The way I see it, I am not the champion anymore on Saturday night. You have to put the belt on the line in order to call yourself champion, the best in the world. Right now, I am not the best in the world; I am injured,” he explained.
“The winner of this fight on Saturday will be more than just the new No.1 contender, but he won’t be the new champion either. The winner of this fight will have to beat me to become the true world champion and I will have to beat the winner of this fight in order to call myself the best in the world again. We have to beat each other to be the undisputed champion.”