Canada loves it some Georges St-Pierre.
Expect an absolutely deafening welcome when GSP enters the octagon tonight for his UFC welterweight title fight against American bad boy Nick Diaz.
This is a home game for GSP, who will battle Diaz at the Bell Centre in Montreal with an estimated crowd of more than 21,000 screaming fans behind him.
St-Pierre, 31, was born in St-Isidore just outside Quebec City, but now lives and trains in Montreal. He’s established himself as a bona fide mixed-martial arts superstar at home and around the globe.
A clean-cut, obliging champion of the people, GSP (23-2) is the welterweight titleholder and has lost just twice in 25 fights.
Diaz, the challenger, hails from a grittier background in Stockton, Calif. He’s 27-8-1 and walks around with a tremendous chip on his shoulder.
He skipped a public appearance in Montreal on Wednesday and fired accusations at his opponent during pre-fight press conferences. It seems Diaz has accused St-Pierre of everything from being “pampered” to steroid use.
It’s all adding to the drama.
“Well it's not the first time that the opponent, the guy that I’m fighting, tried to get in my head. I've fought many people before that, that disrespect me and for me it's another fight and I'm trying very hard to be ready for the fight and I don't focus on that,” St-Pierre said.
Canadians and MMA fans around the world, through Twitter, are eating it up and asking for more.