Nick Diaz will finally get his much-anticipated shot against UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158, which takes place at Bell Centre in Montreal this Saturday night. After nearly two years of ridiculously trash-talking the champ, Diaz is actually lucky to get a shot at the best welterweight in the world, because he hasn’t exactly earned it.

If anybody deserves a shot at this point, it’s the actual No. 1 contender, Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks. Hendricks, who is on a 5-0 tear in UFC action, has earned three “Knockout of the Night” honors in the last two years, all of which ended in 95 seconds or less.

However, deserving or not, Diaz, coming off a suspension for a positive marijuana test, was requested by GSP, because the champ is fed up with all of the talk and “bullying” that comes with the older of the two Diaz brothers that currently are under contract in the UFC.

Diaz, the former Strikeforce welterweight champ, entered the UFC for the third time in mid-2011 after defending his Strikeforce belt for the third time with a TKO of the controversial Brit Paul Daley. Immediately upon entering the UFC, Diaz began verbally trashing GSP and UFC President Dana White began promoting a Diaz-GSP match-up.

White eventually made it official that Diaz would face GSP at UFC 137 for the welterweight strap. However, the California native began his odd behavior, including several no-shows for press events promoting the fight. White had no choice but to pull Diaz off the card and give Carlos Condit a shot. It was later announced that Diaz would instead face former UFC champ B.J. Penn on the same card.

In his return to the Octagon at UFC 137, Diaz took out Penn by a very lopsided unanimous decision that temporarily retired the Hawaiian veteran. This win earned Diaz another shot at GSP, which was set to take place at UFC 143 over Super Bowl weekend in 2012. Unfortunately for Diaz, the French-Canadian champ, through no choice of his own, threw his own little monkey wrench into the plan.

In December 2011, it was announced that GSP sustained an ACL injury, and was being removed from the UFC 143 card. Instead, Diaz was set to face Condit for the interim strap. That fight went the distance with Condit ultimately taking the belt by unanimous decision, a decision that the sharp-tongued Diaz spent a lot of time disputing.

After UFC 143, it was announced that Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites and was being suspended until February 2013.

In the meantime, GSP got back into action in November 2012, consolidating the belts by beating Condit via unanimous decision to get back his title of undisputed welterweight champ. Naturally, with Diaz coming off suspension and years of pent up frustration with his unnecessary verbal diarrhea, GSP skipped right over the chance to fight Hendricks and requested Diaz.

While Diaz may finally be getting his shot at GSP, this may not be the best move for Diaz’s career, with which he has already expressed his unhappiness.

Diaz is a longtime MMA vet that has been in some of the biggest organizations in the game. However, his best showings have been in the secondary promotions, and the reason the UFC hasn’t really missed him that much is the fact that he was only 6-4 in the promotion before making his second return to the Octagon against Penn.

After his loss to Condit, Diaz is riding a 7-5 record in UFC action, and even after dominating Strikeforce for years, he wasn’t able to take out the Jackson’s MMA fighter in his first UFC title shot. There are plenty of arguments against this chance, but GSP wants the fight.

With all of the headaches that Diaz has caused the UFC brass, this fight is a must-win, even though he will probably lose by unanimous decision. Then what?

With the current “thinning of the herd” that is taking place within the UFC roster, there is definitely an argument for Diaz getting cut. Jon Fitch, who was a real UFC company man, just got cut for a bad luck run of 1-2-1 in his last four fights, even though his seven-year UFC record is an impressive 14-3-1. When Diaz loses, his record will fall to 1-2 in his return, 7-6 overall, and that type of record was enough to get several guys cut last month.

At this point, there are several “what-if” scenarios that can be used to anticipate Diaz’s future, but none of the other options should really matter. The guy has been a complete nightmare for the promotion upon his return, and he’s really not worth the time or money to deal with.

Diaz is a very talented athlete. He is a boxer, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist, and even a triathlete. So, as a fighter, he will always be in shape and ready to go. Unfortunately, his flaky persona and bad attitude make him less than marketable, because nobody wants to put up with his antics. While the Diaz brothers may have a sort of wannabe-gangster cult following, that’s just not enough reason to sustain a guy who no-shows, tests positive for banned substances and complains about unfair judging when he loses, even though he’s barely batting over .500 in the promotion.

On Saturday night, GSP will finally get to face his current nemesis, who he feels is nothing more than a street-thug bully. And when the champ disposes of yet another opponent, don’t expect to see Diaz back in the Octagon anytime soon. In fact, it would not be a big surprise to see him give up on MMA competition for good.

Photo: Nick Diaz (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)