Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz will headline UFC 158 in a welterweight title headliner on March 16.
The event takes place at Bell Centre in Montreal and will also see top welterweights Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks take on Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger, respectively. A middleweight rematch between Patrick Cote and Alessio Sakara will also be featured, promotion officials announced Saturday.
“Georges St-Pierre asked to fight Nick Diaz because he knows they have unfinished business, and Nick Diaz agrees,” UFC President Dana White said in the official release.
Widely regarded as one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound talents, St. Pierre recently returned from ACL surgery to outpoint interim champion Condit at UFC 154, taking a unanimous decision from “The Natural Born Killer” in the Nov. 17 headliner. The victory marked St. Pierre’s seventh successful title defense and his 17th overall win inside the Octagon.
“There’s been a lot of talk about who I should fight next, but this was really the only choice for me,” said St-Pierre. “[Diaz has] made it personal, and I personally can’t wait.”
St. Pierre was first scheduled to defend his title against Diaz last year at UFC 137, but that booking was scrapped after Diaz missed consecutive press conferences. The champion was then expected to put his gold on the line against against the Californian this past February at UFC 143, but St. Pierre’s torn ACL again delayed his meeting with Diaz.
Instead, the former Strikeforce champion faced Condit for the interim UFC belt on Feb. 4, dropping a contentious unanimous verdict to the Jackson’s MMA representative before testing positive for marijuana metabolites, a development that resulted in a year-long suspension for Diaz handed down by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Known for his excellent boxing and jiu-jitsu skills, Diaz had won 11 straight fights before dropping that decision to Condit, a verdict so repugnant to the southpaw that he alluded to a forthcoming retirement from MMA in his post-fight interview. Diaz owns over 80 percent of his victories by either knockout or submission and has been stopped just twice in his 11-year pro career.