COMMENTARY | Georges St-Pierre defeated Nick Diaz via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) to retain his welterweight title at UFC 158 on Saturday night. With the victory, St-Pierre has successfully defended his 170-pound crown eight times in a row.
Here are three thoughts on the main card:
Jake Ellenberger sends a message
Few people noticed this, but Nate Marquardt gave Jake Ellenberger all he could handle when the fight began. Marquardt mixed his attacks and landed multiple kicks against Ellenberger, who was content to counter his opponent at first. However, the fight soon turned in Ellenberger's favor when he backed Marquardt close to the cage and landed a powerful three-punch combo. Ellenberger's punches dropped Marquardt, and he finished the fight from there.
Ellenberger did an outstanding job adjusting to Marquardt's offense, which is how he won the fight. That's what top contenders do. They meet the challenge placed before them, and they find a way to win. That's what Ellenberger did, and that's why he's closing in on a shot at the title. Look for him to compete in a No. 1 contender match later this year.
Johny Hendricks pulls out the tough victory
There were plenty of fans who believed that the Johny Hendricks-Carlos Condit bout would be the fight of the night, and they were right. Hendricks and Condit put on the best fight of the year thus far. Hendricks may have earned the close unanimous decision victory, but both fighters deserve credit for their performances.
Unfortunately, there could be only one winner, and Hendricks earned it. He did an excellent job relying on his wrestling to take Condit down 12 times in the bout. Hendricks also held his own against Condit's superior striking game and even managed to hurt his opponent a couple times. It will be interesting to see if the UFC finally gives Hendricks a title shot, but after this performance, I'm not sure how the organization could give it to anyone else.
Georges St-Pierre is beatable
It wasn't the prettiest fight, but Georges St-Pierre manhandled Nick Diaz for five rounds to defend his title. However, it's becoming clear that St-Pierre isn't the fighter that he was before his knee injury. Simply put, St-Pierre doesn't have the speed and explosiveness that he used to have. The Georges St-Pierre of 2008 would have smashed Nick Diaz at UFC 158. Instead, he gave a strong performance, but it wasn't the champion at his peak.
Think about it. We saw Condit knock him down in their last fight, and Diaz left his face battered and bruised on Saturday night. There was a day when St-Pierre's opponents couldn't touch him. That's no longer the case, and it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to how his body is aging.
That said, St-Pierre just beat one of the best welterweights on the planet. He's one of the top five fighters in the UFC, and he still has plenty of fights left in him. However, Georges St-Pierre should no longer be viewed as almost unbeatable. It turns out that he's mortal after all.
Derek Ciapala has been following MMA for 20 years. He has been published on GatewayMMA.com, UltimateApocalypse.com and multiple other websites. You can check him out on Facebook or on Twitter @dciapala.