Georges St-Pierre hasn’t lost in six years, but his last fight title defenses all ended in decisions.
But as UFC 158 odds continue to grow in the welterweight champ’s favor, there is a growing opinion that GSP will not send this fight against Nick Diaz to the judges.
St-Pierre, a consensus No. 2 in the sport’s pound-for-pound rankings, is a huge -500 favorite on most UFC 158 odds menus. It makes the scrappy and yappy Diaz, who has succeeded in taunting and disturbing the normally unflappable champion, at +400 underdog (roughly 4/1).
“Even the prop odds on this fight favor GSP and favor a decision victory, but we have never seen him so angry,” said Jack Randall, an MMA analyst at OddsShark.com, which provides lines to NBCSports.
“My personal prediction is that St-Pierre will grind Diaz to bits and stop him in the fourth round. But only after administering a solid beating.”
The former Strikeforce welterweight champ talked his way into this fight and the California native won’t back down. And he has the striking skills and conditioning to make this fight, in GSP’s back yard at Montreal’s Bell Centre, a challenge.
But when push comes to shove and shove comes to ground-and-pound, St-Pierre should be able to take the fight to the mat and work for submissions and strikes.
The UFC betting lines on the champ currently sits at -500 at Bovada.lv and continues to rise from the initial -450 price. “GSP is always a great draw for MMA betting and UFC 158 is no different, we are seeing lots of action on this fight,” said Kevin Bradley of Bovada.
Former UFC Welterweight Interim champion Carlos Condit will face the up-and-coming Johny Hendricks in another welterweight battle with a title shot on the line for Hendricks if he can get the win.
Condit, who lost to St-Pierre back at UFC 154, is currently a slight +115 underdog at Bovada while Hendricks gets the nod as the -145 favorite.
If Hendricks can get his heavy hands on Condit, the fight could be over in a hurry with Hendricks walking out of the Octagon as the No. 1 contender. Bigg Rigg knocked out two recent big-name welterweights - Martin Kampmann and Jon Fitch - inside a minute when he landed a left fist.
Jake Ellenberger is currently a -170 favorite to beat returning UFC Middleweight standout Nate Marquardt.
Marquardt may be a +140 underdog, but he has the fighting style to give Ellenberger a tough time, especially if he can hold his opponent against the cage and work in close quarters with a dirty boxing attack.
Marquardt looks like the best upset on the UFC 158 fight card as long as he stays off his back and doesn’t run into one of Ellenberger’s power shots along the way. He lost his final Strikeforce battle a few months ago, and handicappers are wondering if his drop to 170 pounds affected his strength and stamina.
UFC 158 odds, courtesy of OddsShark.com
George Roop +110
Reuben Duran -140
TJ Dillashaw -550
Issei Tamura +400
Rick Story -400
Quinn Mulhern +310
Darron Cruickshank -180
John Makdessi +150
Dan Miller +210
Jordan Mein -270
Darren Elkins -240
Antonio Carvalho +180
Patrick Cote -185
Bobby Voelker +155
Mike Ricci -280
Colin Fletcher +240
Chris Camozzi -105
Nick Ring -115
Jake Ellenberger -165
Nate Marquardt +145
Carlos Condit +115
Johny Hendricks -135
Georges St-Pierre -550
Nick Diaz +425
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