MacDonald on MMA: The Athlete’s submissions

According to his camp, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is willing to be tested by two separate organizations: VADA, and also the NSAC’s proposed program. (CP/Paul Chiasson)

UFC 158 is here. As far as Canadian cards go, in my opinion, the one on Saturday in Montreal is the second biggest, second only to the very first one in Montreal, as far as representation for Canada goes. There are a bunch of Canadians in some good fights that I’m looking forward to. I think it’s better than the first Toronto show from that standpoint.

This will also be Georges St-Pierre’s biggest test to date. I’m trying to think back to when someone else was this much of a threat to Georges as Nick Diaz is, and I can’t really think of anyone. I never really thought Jake Shields could beat him or Josh Koscheck, but I think Diaz has a legitimate chance.

Either way, I really hope Diaz doesn’t test positive for marijuana. You’d think common sense would come into play and he would want to make absolute certain he would test clean for this his biggest fight of his career. But time and time again, when I think he wouldn’t make a stupid decision, he does.

After his last title shot was scrapped because he missed those press conferences, you’d think he wouldn’t do it again. But then he goes and messes up the whole UFC Primetime show, then this week he skipped the open workouts.

So just when you think he’s learned his lesson, you’re proven wrong. There’s no excuse for skipping the workouts. Speaking from experience, the UFC is as accommodating as possible and makes the experience as painless as possible. They get you there and get you out as soon as they can. And I imagine for a main eventer like Diaz, they would even go as far as picking him up in a personal vehicle.

And as far as him believing they don’t test for PEDs in Montreal, I can tell you I’ve personally been drug tested in Montreal. All of these claims, that’s just Nick’s personality. The world’s always against Nick Diaz. That’s kind of the way it’s always been, so those kinds of comments don’t surprise me.

He and Georges are just two very different types of guys, as far as genetics go. Diaz is a tall skinny guy that does triathlons and doesn’t believe in strength training. Georges is a toned, stocky guy that doesn’t believe in endurance training, he does gymnastics instead. He doesn’t run to get fit, which is what Diaz does. You couldn’t have two more opposite ends of the spectrum, in terms of body types, approaches and not to mention personalities.

So he thinks just because Georges doesn’t look like him, Nick thinks he must be on steroids. I’m pretty sure Georges has been tested many times. He’s been in so many main events, he’s probably been tested more times than not.

As an aside, so many times in the past I’ve come across situations where because I own a gym, run a gym and am fit, I’ve met people who aren’t fit and when they see people who look like I do they always say it must be because they’re on steroids. No matter how much dedication those who are fit put into a healthy lifestyle and how much they work hard and train hard, that’s always their explanation. It’s one of those things that drives me crazy.

But back to the fight at hand, I think Georges is going to win. He’s a brilliant fighter, he always comes to the Octagon with a gameplan, and regardless of how much emotion he has around the fight, he executes his game plan flawlessly. I think his best chance of beating Diaz is to take him down and be on top. We all know he does that really well, and has in the past. It doesn’t always make for an exciting fight, but it’s the safe way to fight Nick Diaz. And regardless of how he fights, being at home in front of all his fans, it won’t be frowned upon. There won’t be any booing in the stands. Georges St-Pierre won’t be booed in Montreal regardless of how the fight goes down.

So I’m going with St-Pierre by decision, and here are my picks for the rest of Saturday’s UFC 158 card:

Carlos Condit vs. Johny Hendricks

I’m going to pick Hendricks. He’s got that power, and if he doesn’t knock you out, he has great wrestling and can take you down, which has been Condit’s nemesis.

Jake Ellenberger vs. Nate Marquardt

This fight I’m going to go with Marquardt. I think it’s a solid fight, the two guys not in the contender picture right now but a win could put them right back in the mix of things. I’ve always been a Marquardt fan, he’s well rounded and experienced.

Chris Camozzi vs. Nick Ring

This is another good fight, Camozzi has been on a bit of a tear. Meanwhile Nick hasn’t fought since Calgary, so it’s a pretty long layoff. I’m surprised to see this fight on the main card. Nick’s had a couple less than stellar fights in the UFC, but I’ll still go with the Alberta boy. I’ve trained with him on many occasions.

Mike Ricci vs. Colin Fletcher

I don’t know Fletcher at all. This surprises me even more that this is on the main card. I’ll go with the Canadian guy again just because of my lack of knowledge of Fletcher. At home on the big stage, I hope he does well.

Patrick Cote vs. Bobby Voelker

You guys know how I feel about dropping weight divisions, doesn’t always go well in your first appearance as you have to make the adjustment. Cote has also been on a slide since rejoining the UFC. Sure he’s at home, and has the hometown crowd, which could be good, but sometimes it works the opposite way, adding more pressure. I feel like the cards are stacked against him so I’m going with Voelker.

Antonio Carvalho vs. Darren Elkins

Definitely Carvalho. He’s been on a tear and had that huge KO in Calgary. He’s one of my favourite Canadian fighters, and I’m going with him for sure.

Jordan Mein vs. Dan Miller

Obviously Jordan. I’ve been pitching a case for him to be the UFC cage for more than a year now. I’m so happy for him, the kid’s so young, yet has so much experience, and comes from a family of fighting. His dad Lee Mein owns a gym, and fighting is just part of his life. I’m excited for him.

John Makdessi vs. Daron Cruickshank

I’ll go with The Bull. He had a tough fight against Stout and won last time out. It was not the most exciting, but John usually has great fights.

It’s too bad Sean Pierson and Mitch Gagnon got injured because there would be even more Canadians on the card. (Maybe they should tone things down in training. Part of the battle isn’t just the fight but getting to the fight healthy!)

Lastly, just a comment about Matt Riddle, because I’ve taken some shots at him in past blogs, and now he’s been cut for another positive marijuana test and Dana White is calling him a moron. I have to concur. I don’t care if it was his medicine for a legitimate condition. Millions of other people are taking meds to control things like ADD and it’s not marijuana. If you want to be a pro athlete, you will have to take something else. It might not be the best option, but you can’t have best of both worlds. You’ve got to make sacrifices to do what you want to do.

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