By Dave Walsh
So Nick Diaz is filing a lawsuit over how the Athletic Commission in Montreal handled the fight and believes that Georges St. Pierre is in fact a cheater. Ouch. Those are some harsh words when you think that GSP has been the guy that the MMA world has built up as their Mr. Nice Guy. He is the face of the sport of MMA and of the UFC at this point, one of the longest reigning champions in the company’s history as well as the most mainstream marketable champion that they have in North America. Sure, Anderson Silva does huge things in Brazil and South America, but he hasn’t really proven to be a draw on his own in the United States and probably never will unless he decides to speak English.
Brock Lesnar was that man for a while, he was that guy that drew eyeballs to the UFC, but he came and went while Georges St. Pierre has been here, fighting challenger after challenger and fighting through injuries. A “nice guy” image is one that is pretty easy to sell and we’ve seen how successful it has been in various forms of media over the years. Sure, Justin Bieber’s pop songs were instrumental to his success, but the idea of a kind of dopey, normal, nice Canadian kid getting immensely popular is what helped to make Bieber Fever a reality. We see this a lot in politics, hell, we are just coming off of a Presidential election season here in the United States where we saw Mitt Romney, a guy who publicly discussed how a good portion of the country doesn’t pay taxes and how he doesn’t care about them, was marketed as a nice guy and received a whole ton of votes in the process.
What I’m saying is, a nice guy image is just that, an image. Georges St. Pierre is big on image and it has helped him, along with his skill, to become one of the biggest stars in MMA. The question that needs to be posed, though, is; Is Georges St. Pierre really a nice guy?
I think that the answer might be a contrast to the image that we’ve been sold on television over the past few years. Honestly, it has to be, because no one can be that squeaky clean all of the time. There isn’t a ton of proof as GSP has always had managers and publicists to help build up his brand and make him the star that he is, but there have been some chinks in the armor over the years and they have come via the way of him being a cheater. Yes, Georges St. Pierre has been called a cheater not just once, but a few times now. At UFC 94 Georges St. Pierre pulled off a dominant victory over former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion BJ Penn, but it was not a clean victory by a longshot.
Penn’s camp were quick to accuse GSP of “greasing,” or applying a ton of vaseline to his body before the fight and in between rounds and honestly, there was a ton of evidence to support it. There were GIFs, videos, those cute photos that people do in MS Paint where they draw a circle around something with an arrow pointing to it. Basically, GSP’s corner got caught cheating. There were no repercussions in that case, as it was brushed off as simply GSP and his corner didn’t know any better and that it was the job of the Athletic Commission and referees to make sure that nothing like that happened and they failed.
So now come the accusations from Nick Diaz’s camp after UFC 158, where not only is Diaz upset about the shady weigh-ins where the decimal didn’t count, but he believes that GSP was not properly drug tested due to one reason or another. Now, this is not the first time that Nick Diaz has spoken out against Georges St. Pierre, believing him to be using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), so this isn’t completely out of left field. The truth is, GSP came back from a pretty nasty knee injury last year, one that would have rendered most fighters completely out of the game or at least had a major impact on certain abilities. GSP has not shown any of these adverse effects in the ring.
There could be something that Nick Diaz and his camp know that the rest of us don’t when it comes to PED usage, or Diaz is just trying to piss GSP off enough to get himself a rematch. I’m not sure at this point that a rematch is going to happen just because GSP is upset and that there could be some truth to Diaz’s accusations. GSP’s hands are not entirely clean, even if he himself has always played dumb to the accusations and found a way to avoid having the blame placed upon him.
If GSP turns out to be a cheater, UFC’s Mr. Nice Guy will be known forever as a cheater and a liar, which would cause, at least temporarily, the UFC’s house of cards to fall apart.