On Saturday, March 16, the UFC held UFC 158 from the Bell Center in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The event was headlined by welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre who defended his belt against former Strikeforce title-holder Nick Diaz.

In addition to the main event, the main card also featured former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit facing heavy-handed wrestling stalwart Johny Hendricks, former Strikeforce welterweight champion and UFC veteran Nate Marquardt returning to the Octagon to take on Jake Ellenberger, Ultimate Fighter 11 teammates Chris Camozzi and Nick Ring doing battle at middleweight, and TUF finalists Mike Ricci and Colin Fletcher looking to impress fans and company executives alike in a lightweight affair.

The event featured a total of 12 bouts. The pay-per-view main card contained five bouts, while the preliminary card was split between a two-hour, four-fight showcase on FX and an additional three bouts on the promotion’s YouTube page.

Saturday’s main card aired live on pay-per-view starting at 10:00 p.m. ET. The FX portion of the preliminary card kicked off at 8 p.m ET and the YouTube bouts began at 6:35 p.m ET.

St-Pierre blanks Diaz, defends welterweight title

UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre successfully defended his title for the eighth time in the main event of UFC 158, defeating Nick Diaz by unanimous decision.

The champion took Diaz down almost immediately and attacked from inside his guard. Diaz repeatedly rolled to try to gain an advantage, but GSP retained control throughout the round. Toward the end of the frame, Diaz attempted to wrap up one of St-Pierre’s arms for a kimura, and the champion responded by planting Diaz on his head.

St-Pierre again scored a quick takedown early in the second round, and landed a multitude of strikes from the top position. Diaz repeatedly attempted to get back to his feet, and managed to do so late in the round, at which point the two exchanged strikes to end the round.

The majority of the third round was spent on standing, with both Diaz and St-Pierre landing punches and kicks with frequency. GSP managed to take Diaz down twice, including late in the round. Diaz took a swing at GSP from his back well after the round had ended, eliciting some boos from the Montreal crowd.

In the fourth, the fighters began by again exchanging strikes in the middle of the Octagon. Eventually, however, St-Pierre scored another takedown. Diaz again attempted to get back to his feet, but was promptly slammed back to the mat. The challenger rolled for leglocks and kimuras late in the frame, but GSP avoided them easily.

St-Pierre and Diaz went toe-to-toe to begin the fifth and final round of their championship fight, but the action returned to the mat after Diaz slipped while attempting a head kick. GSP hopped on Diaz’s back and maintained top position until the fighters returned to their feet. From a standing clinch, Diaz ripped several body shots, but the champion was undeterred. St-Pierre got his final takedown of the contest with less than a minute to go, and secured another successful title defense with a clean sweep of the scorecards.

Hendricks advances in welterweight title race with decision win over Condit

Johny Hendricks is of the opinion that he was overlooked for the UFC 158 welterweight title shot. The highly regarded wrestler with dynamite in his fists instead needed to get past Carlos Condit to earn his opportunity, and he did just that Saturday night.

Hendricks made his strategy obvious early on, throwing wild left hands with bad intentions. He even let Condit up immediately after taking him down, clearly confident in his punches. Condit landed some heavy strikes of his own throughout the round, including a massive front kick to Hendricks’ head near the frame’s end, but Hendricks closed the round with another takedown.

Both fighters continued to throw heavy strikes in the second round, with Hendricks relying primarily on his solid punches, with Condit maintaining a more varied attack. As in the first, though, Hendricks was able to take Condit down several times during the second. Condit remained extremely active off his back, but could not manage to stifle Hendricks’ wrestling attacks.

“Bigg Rigg” took Condit down again early in the third round, and “The Natural Born Killer” continued to throw elbows from his back and go for submissions. Once back on their feet, the striking advantage was clearly with Condit, who at one point stunned Hendricks with a right hand. Hendricks’ frequent takedowns ended up being the deciding factor for the judges, who awarded him the win and, presumably, a place in the next welterweight title fight.

Ellenberger knocks out Marquardt

Jake Ellenberger fought his way back into title contention with a brutal knockout win over former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt. Marquardt spent the early portion of the fight throwing and landing leg kicks. He also charged in on Ellenberger and landed a few strikes in the process. From there, however, it was virtually all Ellenberger.

“The Juggernaut” eventually stalked Marquardt into a corner and threw a vicious left-right combo that buckled his legs. Ellenberger then finished the job with a few more punches to a stunned Marquardt and was declared the winner.

Camozzi outpoints Ring in split decision

Middleweight Chris Camozzi moved to 4-0 in his last four fights, besting Canadian Nick Ring by split decision. Ring opened the fight throwing a lot of leg kicks, which Camozzi was content to counter with straight punches. The fighters spent the majority of the frame exchanging strikes back and forth, with neither landing anything truly damaging. Ring kept his hands dangerously low throughout the round, which Camozzi tried to exploit with frequent charges.

The action continued along the same lines in the second round, with both fighters picking away at each other with jabs and leg kicks. Camozzi’s face looked bloodier after the second round, and Ring also developed a cut under his right eye that began to leak.

Both fighters attempted takedowns in the third round, but both were unsuccessful. They kept up with their war of attrition in the center of the Octagon, with neither fighter budging an inch as they threw many more punches and kicks. With about a minute left in the fight, however, Ring began to visibly tire, and Camozzi began to land punches with slightly more frequency. The Colorado-based fighter’s efforts late in the fight cemented the decision for him on two of three judges’ scorecards, extending an unbeaten streak that dates to early 2012.

Ricci earns first UFC win in decision over Fletcher

Montreal native and Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson runner-up Mike Ricci made a successful UFC pay-per-view debut to open that portion of the UFC 158 card, outpointing fellow TUF contestant Colin Fletcher in a unanimous-decision victory.

Ricci landed a head kick early in the first round, after which the two fighters spent much of the rest of the opening five minutes exchanging strikes in the middle of the cage. Ricci landed a few hard straight punches to Fletcher’s head, and Fletcher clinched up toward the end of the first to limit Ricci’s striking. Ricci also fell victim to a shot to the cup toward the end of the round, but it didn’t seem to have much effect on his performance.

In the second round, Ricci again opened with a head kick that found its mark. He then took Fletcher down and trapped him against the cage. Fletcher briefly maneuvered for an ankle submission, but Ricci easily escaped and took Fletcher’s back. It was during this time that Ricci also opened up a cut over Fletcher’s right eye that served as the primary evidence of the damage Ricci had inflicted. The fighters returned to their feet shortly thereafter and ended the round exchanging strikes.

Fletcher’s right eye was nearly swollen shut when the third and final round began, and it was during this frame that Ricci closed the door on him. After defending a takedown attempt with ease, Ricci landed a few elbows to Fletcher’s head and then pulled him to the mat. He soon took Fletcher’s back and nearly sunk in both a rear-naked choke and an armbar. Fletcher escaped the submission attempts just before the final bell, but was not able to escape with the victory.

Preliminary Card Summary

The preliminary portion of the card was headlined by a back-and-forth battle between Patrick Cote and Bobby Voelker. Cote, making his welterweight debut, emerged victorious after a fight with Voelker that periodically turned into a brawl. Both Voelker and Cote were successful in landing striking combinations, and Voelker scored a number of takedowns throughout the contest. Cote’s own efforts on offense—both strikes landed and submissions attempted—were enough to convince the judges, though, and the Quebec native earned the decision after three rounds.

Featherweight Darren Elkins extended his current winning streak to five, defeating Antonio Carvalho by a somewhat controversial TKO stoppage in the first round of their preliminary contest. The fighters exchanged strikes early in the bout, but neither achieved an advantage until Elkins landed a hard punch that wobbled Carvalho. Sensing his opponent was in danger, Elkins followed up with another batch of hard punches, the last of which completely buckled Carvalho’s knees. Referee Yves Lavigne stepped in to stop the fight, and immediately faced protest from Carvalho, who insisted he was able to continue. Nevertheless, the fight was ruled a TKO win for Elkins.

Jordan Mein made his UFC debut in impressive fashion, becoming the first fighter ever to finish Dan Miller. Miller had the advantage early in the welterweight fight, scoring a takedown and then securing a tight armbar. “Young Gun” managed to escape, though, and the end for Miller came soon after. First, Mein floored Miller with a punch with just over a minute left in the fight. After letting Miller back to his feet, Mein then swarmed with more strikes, putting Miller down once more and not letting him up until the referee stepped in.

Canada’s own John Makdessi scored the decision victory over Daron Cruickshank in a lightweight contest to kick off the FX card. The fighters spent the first round feeling each other out, mostly exchanging strikes at a distance. The second frame provided fans with more action, with both Makdessi and Cruickshank looking more comfortable in the cage and taking more chances with their punches and kicks. Makdessi took control in the third round, however, throwing strikes first and landing them with frequency. It was enough to give him the unanimous-decision victory in front of his countrymen.

Former top-ten welterweight Rick Story returned to winning form Saturday night, stalking and finishing the debuting Quinn Mulhern in the opening round of the final YouTube fight. Story controlled the center of the Octagon from the outset, landing powerful strikes after trapping Mulhern against the cage. Mulhern did have a few punches find their home on Story’s chin, but they had little effect on “The Horror,” who punched out Mulhern just past the midway point of the first frame.

T.J. Dillashaw took on Issei Tamura in one of two bantamweight fights on the preliminary card. Dillashaw controlled the action for the first round, taking Tamura down and pressing him against the cage for the majority of the frame. The second round did not last as long, however, as Dillashaw landed a perfectly placed knee on Tamura’s head seconds in before finishing him with punches.

The evening began with a bantamweight contest between Reuben Duran and George Roop. The action was explosive early, with both fighters exchanging strikes in the first round. Roop landed multiple head kicks in the process while Duran was able to successfully counter Roop’s strikes. The rest of the fight, though, took place on the mat, after the fighters exchanged some takedowns, and against the cage, with neither fighter able to finish his opponent. The bout went to the scorecards, and the judges all scored it for Roop.

Georges St-Pierre def. Nick Diaz by unanimous decision (50-45 x3) – for welterweight title
Johny Hendricks def. Carlos Condit by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Jake Ellenberger def. Nate Marquardt by knockout (punches). Round 1, 3:00
Chris Camozzi def. Nick Ring by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Mike Ricci def. Colin Fletcher by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Patrick Cote def. Bobby Voelker by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Darren Elkins def. Antonio Carvalho by TKO (punches). Round 1, 3:06
Jordan Mein def. Dan Miller by TKO (punches). Round 1, 4:42
John Makdessi def. Daron Cruickshank by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Rick Story def. Quinn Mulhern by TKO (punches). Round 1, 3:05
T.J. Dillashaw def. Issei Tamura by knockout (kick and punches). Round 2, 0:26
George Roop def. Reuben Duran by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

Photo: Georges St-Pierre (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Eric Reinert
Staff Writer

Eric Reinert has been writing about mixed martial arts since 2010. Outside the world of caged combat, Eric has spent time as a news reporter, speechwriter, campaign strategist, tech support manager, landscaper and janitor. He lives in Madison, Wis.