SI.com caught up with Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim to talk about Saturday's UFC 124 card at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
SI.com: What do you make of the main event between Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koscheck?
Wertheim: If Koscheck pulls this out, they'll need to have riot gear on hand. I'm surprised how many people are picking an upset. I don't see it.
Talk about the ultimate good-vs.-evil, white-hat-vs.-black-hat matchup. As anyone who's watched The Ultimate Fighter knows, Koscheck relishes the role as villain -- but the build-up to Saturday's fight has just been a whole new level.
The one thing that's too bad is this guy is a great fighter who's a lot more than a wrestler, but he's becoming known for being a jerk more than his fighting. I just don't know how he wins this fight, unless he just does a Matt Serra at UFC 69 -- unless he just catches him. I'm surprised how many people are giving him a real chance. I'm thinking GSP by decision.
SI.com: Yesterday, Ben Fowlkes posited that GSP has been winning fights so easily that he may be starting to turn fans off. Do you buy into that?
Wertheim: If he were pushed Saturday -- if he could win it dramatically -- it would be better for the fans and better for the sport. But GSP's versatility makes him fun, even if he's dominating. He's been pretty untouchable basically for the last three-plus years, but I don't think of him as a boring fighter.
I think it's more style than results. He's such a dynamic athlete who can do so many things. A boring fighter is a guy who's just going in there to get a win no matter what: one of those brawl-and-stall fighters. I don't think he's like that.
SI.com: What's catching your eye on the undercard?
Wertheim: The big guys: the heavyweight fight between Stefan Struve and Sean McCorkle. You hope that's a good fight and not a sideshow. You're talking about almost 14 feet of fighter. Just for the spectacle, I'll be interested in that. I hope the Octagon is big enough for the two of them. You only hope this is actually a competitive fight and not just one of those Nikolai Valuev freak shows.
SI.com: There's also the two lightweight fights: Jim Miller-Charles Oliveira and Joe Stevenson-Mac Danzig. And the welterweight matchup of Thiago Alves and John Howard.
Wertheim: It's a nice card. These are a lot of fighters on the fringe -- a bunch of guys who are facing critical fights. Where is Alves these days? This was one of the hottest fighters in the sport not that long ago, then he had some medical issues. Danzig's never done much for me. If he loses this fight, he'll have lost five of his last six -- I'm not sure what his future in the UFC is. He was great on the show but he hasn't really panned out.
My only problem with the main event is that it's taken a page out of boxing. You pump it up with trash talk and psyche-out games. I feel like that's what Mitch "Blood" Green does, but Koscheck is too good a fighter for that. It's a little disappointing he's probably known more for being a jerk than for his ability.
SI.com: Any final thoughts before Saturday night?
Wertheim: UFC 131 coming to Toronto on April 30 is a big deal. The Rogers Centre is an awfully big arena, so for the sake of the Toronto card, it would be good if Saturday night was a strong show up and down.