Saturday is recognized as Hockey Night in Canada, but tonight is categorized as UFC Night in Montreal. The premium mixed martial arts organization is hosting UFC 158 inside the Bell Centre in Montreal, and received recognition from the media as an important UFC event. The title card belongs to Canadian UFC superstar George St. Pierre defending his welterweight championship against challenger, and personal rival Nate Diaz.
UFC fans and avid sports bettors are equally excited about the main event. St. Pierre and Diaz were scheduled to face off in the octagon multiple times over the past two years, but due to injuries and controversies from both fighters, the fights have always been cancelled. Nevertheless, the two fighters continued building their rivalry based upon mutual animosity for each other.
Their first scheduled fight in 2011 was cancelled because St. Pierre sustained injuries from a previous match-up, and the UFC forced the champion to remain on the sidelines until his body healed. During that time, Diaz faced off with other opponents in the octagon, but always called out St. Pierre for the match-up both fighters were eager to take on. Diaz was later suspended from the UFC for a year due to a drug controversy, and St. Pierre requested to fight Diaz when his suspension was over. The two spent the past few months building on their hatred for each other in press conferences, and the bad blood was nearly boiling at the weigh-in on Friday March 15.
As a result, UFC fans and bookmakers expect the match-up to be intensely physical and very bloody as the fighters unleash their anger with each other. Online casinos and sportsbetting sites universally list St. Pierre as the favourite. His wrestling skills are second to none, which is where Diaz is known to struggle. The challenger is more of a striking fighter, but bettors are confident St. Pierre will take his enemy to the ground and beat him into submission.
The fight is a championship battle, which means it is scheduled for 5 rounds instead of the usual 3. Nevertheless, sports bettors favour St. Pierre finishing the fight in Round 3 with a TKO at odds of -425. Diaz is the underdog with odds at +440, but gamblers who are willing to take a risk for a higher reward will hold out hope that the challenger will pull off the upset.