UFC welterweight champion Goerges St-Pierre has not at all tried to hide the fact that he wants to fight Nick Diaz badly, even going so far as rooting for the fiery Stocktonian in his interim welterweight title fight this weekend against Greg Jackson teammate Carlos Condit.
Many see Diaz as GSP’s antithesis; the mean-mugging battler playing a perfect foil to the champion’s reserved, role model image. St-Pierre, though, doesn’t see things quite so black and white, as he explained at yesterday’s UFC 143 open workouts (via MMAFighting).
“Nick is not crazy. Nick is a very, very smart guy,” said the champ. “People, they’re like, ‘Oh, Nick is crazy!’ That’s a persona that he has to intimidate people. He’s like a guy at school, a bully. I remember people that used to bully me before, they tried to make me believe they’re ready to kill people and that’s not true. He’s a very, very clever guy. He’s very smart at what he does. One of the reasons that he’s where he is in his life — he’s very successful — is because he’s very smart. I don’t buy this thing, ‘Oh, he’s crazy.’ I don’t buy it. He’s not crazy, he’s a very, very smart guy.”
As far as he can tell, Diaz probably isn’t that bad a guy, he just stands for something that St-Pierre doesn’t feel he can abide and Rush intends to use the fire that Diaz has stoked to take him out.
“I don’t believe Nick Diaz is a bad human being. That’s not what I said. Through my eyes, he’s very disrespectful,” he said. “… He has the need to hate his opponent to fight him. For me, there is nothing personal to a fight. I don’t need to hate an opponent to perform. Of course, if there is a little bit of fire between the both of us, it gives me a drive. So, the only thing he did, he just lit more fire in me and that’s when I’m at my best.”
Check out the video of GSP in the UFC 143 open workout media scrum below.