UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes Breaks Down Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz

March 16, 2013
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Matt-Hughes-01-UFC-98-press-460x270UFC Hall of Famer and former welterweight champion Matt Hughes has fought Georges St-Pierre three times. On Friday, he gave his insight into the UFC 158 main event between St-Pierre and Nick Diaz.

Hughes was asked how, as a coach, he would prepare both fighters during a question and answer session prior to the UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz official weigh-ins.

“It is hard for a slower fighter to be a counter puncher.  It just seems like every time you try to counter a quicker guy he’s not there to be hit.  A slower fighter needs to get off first.  He needs to throw the first punch.  He needs to pull the trigger and try and land his punches quickly.  I think GSP is going to be the faster fighter,” said Hughes.

“If I were coaching GSP, I’d say, if you’re comfortable on your feet, get in and throw a couple of punches and come back out, out of range, and just do whatever you want.  If you feel comfortable taking him down, take him down,” said Hughes.

“If I was coaching Diaz, I would say, hey, if you get taken down, you’re throwing elbows.  One elbow can stop the fight. If you get a cut, it’s probably going to get stopped,” said the former titleholder.

St-Pierre has shown tremendous wrestling ability, and Hughes, who was an accomplished wrestler, feels St-Pierre is going to be able to dictate where the fight takes place with his wrestling ability and takedowns.

“The wrestlers have a big advantage in this sport.  The wrestlers get to pick where the fight is going to be fought at.  If GSP wants to stand, he’s going to stand.  If he wants to go to the ground, he’s going to take him down. So I think that’s going to be great for GSP.  He is going to be able to control the fight, no doubt about it.  I don’t think Diaz is going to bring a wrestling game that is even going to compare to GSP,” he said.

“But if Georges wants to stand with him, I think he’s very gifted.  All he has to worry about is two hands with Diaz.  He doesn’t have to worry about kicks or knees. Georges has got many tools standing, so he can really do whatever he wants.

“I don’t know what their gameplan is.  I know that Georges is going to be faster.  Georges is going to be able to control the takedown game, and I think there’s no submission on the ground.  I just don’t see anybody submitting somebody, so I think the advantage is going to go to Georges because he’s going to be on top.  Most judges see if you’re on top you’re going to win the fight.  I don’t think that I really see Diaz throwing an elbow that’s going to end the fight.  I think Georges has a lot of good things going for him in the fight,” said Hughes.

One advantage Diaz may have is his conditioning.  Hughes feels the later rounds are going to be interesting, and it’s an area that Diaz may be able to exploit.

“If I was Diaz, I would push the fight.  Diaz is in great shape.  This is the first time GSP is probably going to face somebody that is in better shape than he is, so if I were Diaz I’d push the fight, try and get in GSP’s mind.  Hey, I’m here to fight and I’m going to take it to you.  He is going to want to brawl.  Diaz is going to want to brawl, so I think Georges needs to play the smart game and if he’s coming hard at him just take him down.  Don’t keep back-peddling,” assessed Hughes.

“The fourth and fifth round is going to be very interesting for me because that’s when it’s maybe going to wear on GSP.  Is this guy really coming at me this hard?  Is he going to have better cardio than me?  That will be the interesting part, the later rounds.”

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  • Randi

    That’s right Matt! Nick’s cardio will come into play later on. Diaz can push the pace all nite long and will eventually overwhelm gsp with a tko stoppage! No doubt about it!!

    • Kris-tyahn

      Yeah well you best hope he can take a Beating and still go full pace after getting his face and legs el owed & kicked to death. Yeah, we’ll see how his cardio holds up in the later rounds, if it makes it to the later rounds!!!

    • Cptmats

      Hey ! what that in your mouth ?
      Oh wait its your foot !

  • Diaz is going to shock the world. Nick Diaz is the most exciting fighter in MMA.

  • Sir_Roy

    Diaz comes in strong, fires off a round of pillow punches … woops! GSP ain’t there … he’s coming at Diaz at angles, chopping down his legs with leg kicks, jab, jab take down, elbows to the face, let him up … rinse and repeat.

    GSP has already shown he can ground and pound ALL DAY LONG. Those thinking GSP gets tired in later rounds are insane. His intensity has been just as brutal in rounds 4 & 5 as 1 & 2. His cardio will keep up with Diaz just fine … and his strength / athleticism and far better rounded game will see Diaz completely overwhelmed.

    • RonnieV

      You are correct GSP has incredible endurance, but this will be the first time he has an opponent that will push him in the later rounds. I agree with Hughes, Diaz may be the first fighter GSP has ever fought that has better cardio. GSP wins the first three rounds, Diaz brings the pressure in the 4th & 5th. As much as I would like to see Diaz win. I see GSP winning by decision, and this fight being similar to Bendo v Nate. I hope I’m wrong!

      • The only thing you are wrong about is the 4th and 5th round being better for Nick. By then Nick will be so frustrated from not knowing what is coming at him that he will just throw his arms up in the air(or out into the air from the bottom) and do absolutely nothing. I could even see GSP ending the fight via ground and pound elbows earlier in the fight as well. Either way a Diaz victory is remote at best. He just isn’t really that well rounded like many Diaz fans claim, he has good boxing and jiu jitsu and unfortunately that just becomes very predictable.

    • Kris-tyahn

      Yeah Diaz will have better Cardio, but I guarantee GSP will be just as fresh in the 4th and 5th as he was in the 1st, same as Diaz. But the only thing is, if Diaz takes a beating early on that will drain his cardio. Physical punishment drains anyone’s cardio. Like Hughes said, GSP is going to be faster and Diaz is going to be swinging at air. Every opponent says they didnt expect GSP to be so fast or so strong!

      Hey Diaz fans, hear what us GSP fans have been saying about his stand up? He’s not that behind Diaz, & Hughes comment proves it, but I guess he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, I suppose?!?

      Looks like GSP is in sick shape, not as big as he was vs. Condit, and you know what that means ….. He’s going to be one fast MO FO!!! CAN’T WAIT!!!

    • Reed

      Give your head a shake dude!lol

  • MMAreality

    Get ready bajafox will be here soon to tell us how smart he is.

    GSP wins it how every he wants. No further analysis needed

    • Yes, that baja kid is an idiot, I had a debate(if you can call it a debate) with him over weed being not quite the cure all that pot heads claim it is with him and he resorted to broken English retorts, it was quite funny and sad all at once. What a duped, uneducated little fella.

  • Orville

    lol at anyone thinking Nick has problems with wrestlers. Wrestlers have problems with Nick Diaz. If he gets taken down he’s a scary threat. His sweeps, scrambles, and switches are amazing! Diaz will win this fight by tko, and thats all there is to it. Goodbye George!!

    • Kris-tyahn

      WaitWHAT?!? Well according to his record, your comment couldn’t be more wrong. Sherk, Riggs & Parysian = LOSSES!!! But yeah, he’s awesome vs Wrestlers & they aren’t even world class. Guess we’ll see how great he does vs the BEST wrestler in MMA!!! Can’t wait to see how wrong you are …. Bahahahaha

      • Cptmats

        Penn’s BJJ is better than Nick’s. He Is a BJJ world Champion and George mauled him on the Ground !

      • Anthony Lopez

        Add Diego Sanchez to that list

      • Kory

        Nice try with old stuff.lol Watch what happens tonite krissy! baaaaaaaa!

  • The Oracle

    Will see how good diaz can push the pace after he gets jabbed till his eye shuts and thrown around and pounded on for a couple of rounds.diaz is overrated

    • b-soc

      I agree. Diaz’s eyes swell shut faster than any fighter. GSP takes him down and lands a few elbows, Diaz may not be able to see by the end of the first. Diaz could push the fight if he can stay on his feet……………………….but he can’t!! Nobody could stay on their feet yet against GSP. I doubt Diaz will be an exception. GSP takes down the best wrestlers. I hear the same thing out of all the GSP fighters. Every opponent is going to dominant with their strength – never happens!!!!!

  • Marvin Holloman

    gsp has cardio that most fighters can only dream of having and with diazs big mouth gsp just has to keep his cool and this fight is over before ir even starts!

    • Kory

      Finally someone who knows what he’s talking about, but not what he’s typing. You have your names mixed up. read what you type before you post!!!lol

  • Jason Spangler

    Very good assessment. I think this fight is won or lost mentally.

  • Milosc

    I always liked Matt Hughes. It’s good to see him around

  • Rory

    Is this guy really coming at me this hard? Diaz will just get stronger as the fight goes on. Its the later rounds that Diaz really becomes a buzz saw!

    • Anthony Lopez

      What are you talking about? In his last 6 wins, he’s only gone past the second round twice. And the only evidence of him being a “buzzsaw” late in the fight was against BJ, who was completely gassed.

  • PhranktheTank

    I’ll be honest, Diaz MAY have better cardio than GSP. However, That won’t matter in a 5 rd fight. If it was 8 or 9 rds, GSP may fade in the last 5 or 10 minutes, assuming he didn’t ruin Diaz after 40 minutes of abuse. In 5 rds GSP will not fade, he will be fresh, fast, and powerful.

    • Cptmats

      Truth is Diaz’s cardio is over rated ! He fought Rnds. 4&5 against Condit with his mouth wide open. George has never even showed sighns of slowing during a fight !
      I actually think GSP has the better conditioning !

      • PhranktheTank

        I don’t disagree, that’s why I said ‘may’ have better conditioning. I probably could have worded it better, but what I was trying to say is that conditioning won’t be an issue in a 5 rd fight.

  • dgs

    “Georges is going to be able to control the takedown game, and I think there’s no submission on the ground. I just don’t see anybody submitting somebody, so I think the advantage is going to go to Georges because he’s going to be on top. Most judges see if you’re on top you’re going to win the fight.”

    Ever since the Serra KO GSP has become the most boring, safe fighter in the octagon (and in the quote, Matt lays out what is sure to be GSP’s game plan). In his 10 fights since the Serra fight, seven have been won by decision. GSP should be taking notes from other great champions like Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, or Cain Velasquez, not a fighter like Jon Fitch.

    I seriously hope Diaz takes GSP out of his comfort zone and forces him to actually fight. Thankfully Nick Diaz is the exact opposite kind of fighter from GSP, you know one who fights to win, not to do just enough to win and keep a title around his waist.

    • Anthony Lopez

      Not one that does enough to win…. every damn time, and become the most dominant champion in welterweight history. I’m not even a GSP fan, but you haters are hilarious. He’s the best welterweight of all time, plain and simple. Silva is hated because he apparently ducks people and Bones is hated because he’s arrogant. When you’re on top people will find a reason to bitch

    • Sir_Roy

      Those are all blanket comments. You disregard the fact that most of those 7 decisions were against the #1 contenders at the time … folks who had not, themselves, been ‘finished’. Jake Shields was coming off wins against the likes of Henderson and hadn’t been handed a defeat, let alone a finish, in 7 years. Fitch was undefeated in the UFC and at the top of his game at the time (which was boring as shite, I agree). Condit’s record is likewise insane.

      Let’s consider the talent of each opponent, their respective records, and the depth of each respective division, before we compare what GSP has, or has not, accomplished with the likes of an Anderson Silva, Jon Jones or a Cain Velasquez.

      GSP, for the most part, fights more skilled opponents in a far deeper division than the above mentioned.

  • Nicks cardio is top notch but Georges is just so explosive. Both are high level fighters but have different styles, and with all the trash talk this is going to be interesting to see how Georges keeps his head together.

  • thinking_man

    How I would prepare them:

    Nick: Whizzinator/clean urine
    GSP: Gun to head

  • uncle

    GSP’s cardio is good his last 5 fights went to distance
    so i don’t think he will get tired, the problem is GSP is
    really pissed off.. and may not stick to the gameplan
    because he is not going to destroy Diaz like everyone
    thinks.. so if Nick throws him off the gameplan it will
    open the door for him no doubt

  • celica421

    Dont think we will see the old GSP. The most recent version was throwing elbows at CC like they were free, and busted him up good for it. Now he faces a guy he hates, expect GSP to try to mutilate Diaz. Remember the aggressive GSP that brok shirk’s nose? I think that GSP is back again, thanks to his knee injury. Sometimes it takes a scare to wake you up man, war GSP.

  • Orville

    Diaz will show all the bullsht talkers that he is no joke. Too many people spend more time noticing and commenting on his personality or attitude than his talents!

    • uncle

      GSP is not going to box with Diaz because Nick will
      give him the real ghetto blues George is going to
      hold him down just like does in the rest of his fights

  • Alex Anderson

    Hughes turned out to be very accurate in his analysis.