If Nick Diaz’s plan with all the antagonizing of Georges St. Pierre leading up to their fight was to sucker the champion into a brawl, he quickly found out the scheme had failed.
St. Pierre took Diaz down to the mat less than 10 seconds into the bout and held him there throughout the first round.
Not all of the five rounds were that lopsided, but none were particularly close either as St. Pierre defended the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight belt for the division-record eighth straight time with a unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 158 in Montreal on Saturday night.
St. Pierre said all of the talk from the challenger was never going to impact his performance.
“I never took it personal. I’m actually a big fan of his. He’s one of my favorite guys to watch,” St. Pierre said. “He did a great job promoting the event.”
The talking continued right into the fight, as is usually the case with Diaz. He tried to bait St. Pierre to stand and trade punches with him by trash-talking and even taking a swipe at St. Pierre after the conclusion of the third round.
None of it really worked, and even when Diaz was able to thwart some takedown attempts later in the fight, the striking game was essentially a stalemate.
“I didn’t want to fight in boxing range with him because he’s the best boxer in mixed martial arts,” St. Pierre said. “It’s hard to find sparring partners to prepare for him. When you fight a guy like this, it’s almost impossible to get ready.”
St. Pierre won all five rounds on all three scorecards.
The card also featured two matchups of top contenders in the welterweight division that featured far more fireworks than the main event.
Johny Hendricks cemented his status as the top challenger to St. Pierre’s belt with a unanimous decision over Carlos Condit in the most entertaining bout of the night.
Hendricks earned the favor of the judges with 12 takedowns over the course of the three rounds, but both fighters landed huge shots throughout the fight.
“Carlos is tougher than hell. He fought one great fight,” Hendricks said. “I told you guys we were going to come out here and steal the show, and me and Carlos did it.”
Hendricks pleaded his case for the next title shot.
“GSP. If you win tonight, I want to see you here in five months,” he said, challenging the champion to a fight in his hometown. “If not, I’ll fly to your house, hire a ref, and we’ll do something about it.”
Jake Ellenberger made a big statement with his first-round knockout of former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt.
Ellenberger won for the eighth time in his last nine fights when he knocked Marquardt down with a big right hand against the cage.
Marquardt dropped to all fours, and Ellenberger landed a series of rights that finished him off.
The pay-per-view portion of the card got off to a slow start with a pair of mediocre contests.
Chris Camozzi won a split decision over Nick Ring in a lightweight bout, and Mike Ricci took a unanimous decision over Colin Fletcher.
Montreal resident Patrick Cote headlined the televised portion of the undercard in his welterweight debut, winning a unanimous decision over Bobby Voelker.
Two more Canadians scored victories, starting with 23-year-old welterweight Jordan Mein, who was impressive in his UFC debut with a first-round knockout of Dan Miller.
John Makdessi, another hometown fighter from Montreal, won a unanimous decision over Daron Cruickshank in a lightweight matchup.
Also, featherweight Darren Elkins scored a first-round knockout of Antonio Carvalho.
On the untelevised preliminary card, Rick Story and T.J. Dillishaw picked up knockout victories, and George Roop won a unanimous decision over Reuben Duran in a bantamweight bout.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.