The question going into UFC 154 was whether a 19-month layoff would hamper Georges St-Pierre. The UFC welterweight champion answered that with a thrilling victory over Carlos Condit. Now the question is whether GSP will continue to defend the championship or accept the challenge of Anderson Silva.
A rabid Montreal crowd welcomed back George St-Pierre at UFC 154. GSP pushed forward early with strikes. GSP swung for the fences a few times with no luck early. GSP got the first takedown. Georges got into half guard in the final two minutes-plus and dropped a few strikes. Condit tried going for the arm bar with no luck. GSP really pushed the pace here with strikes. Georges dominated the first round with the bell ringing with GSP on top. Condit was cut really bad from an elbow.
St-Pierre nailed Condit with a right hand at around 3:58. Joe Rogan pointed out right about here that Condit was hesitating. GSP continued pushing the fight. Condit caught GSP with a combination of jabs at around 3:10. GSP caught Condit jumping in with a beautifully timed right hand counter. Condit’s nose was busted open at this point. GSP got another takedown at 2:08. GSP dropped an elbow on the cut and opened it back up. GSP was just mauling him on the ground at this point. The right side of Condit’s face was a bloody mess as the round closed. The round finished with both trading on their feet. This was turning into a great fight at this point, arguably the most exciting GSP fight in a long time.
Condit nailed a high kick to GSP to open up the third round which floored GSP. Condit got on top and turned the fight around. GSP absorbed a lot of strikes here. I almost think that Condit was too tired or weak to finish here because he looked like he had GSP in a heap of trouble. GSP got back to his feet and this fight was turning into a classic. GSP connected against the cage and took down Condit. GSP’s right eye swelled up quite a bit from the kick. Condit was striking the eye from the ground.
Condit connected on a kick again early in Round 4 but with no results. Georges got on top again but the action slowed down a bit here. Condit did a great job of connecting from the bottom. Georges escaped a triangle attempt and dropped a few strikes. Condit reversed a takedown and got on top briefly. Condit’s face was a bloody mess. Condit was constantly looking for the kimura throughout the fight but never sealed the deal. Georges’ grappling was dominant throughout the fight to this point.
Georges nailed a combination left hook and right leg kick early in the fifth round. GSP got another takedown at 3:45 but Condit got back up. GSP was looking for the finish. Condit to his credit kept coming but couldn’t connect on the champion. GSP opened up with some jabs and took down Condit at around 2:08. GSP was trying to mount in the final minute or so of the fight but Condit fought him off. GSP got Condit’s back at 1:01. Condit was able to roll out of it. GSP closed out the round dominating Condit on the ground. The fight closed with GSP dropping elbows.
This was a hell of a fight. I’d say other than the high kick this was a dominate performance by the champion. Condit kept coming making this one a lot more dramatic than anyone expected. GSP now goes to 23-2 overall and 17-2 in the UFC.
Most presume that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva would be up next for Georges St-Pierre in a catch weight fight. GSP was asked about it by Rogan and said he needed to take a long vacation and think about it. Silva has talked about doing the fight at 177 or 178. UFC president Dana White said earlier this week that he’d like to sign the fight for May. I still have my doubts about whether this fight comes off or not. GSP has virtually shown no interest in the fight and looks annoyed when asked about it. If I had to bet I’d say that this fight does not come off, but the momentum certainly seems to be going in that direction.
I am real sick of the Silva vs. GSP talk and have very little interest in that fight. GSP has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to move up, so why make him? The real superfight that the UFC should be making is between Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones. I really don’t understand why the UFC is putting the pressure on him and not Silva and Jones. The welterweight division is stacked and there is no reason for GSP to take any fights out of it right now. There are plenty of credible challengers ready for GSP yet I think it is one in particular that intrigues everyone most of all.
My bet is that Nick Diaz will actually wind up as GSP’s next victim. Dana White has gone from saying that Diaz had to get a win when he comes back before getting another title shot to just recently saying he wasn’t sure. While the UFC did a tremendous gate for UFC 154, it was not the fast sellout that you’d expect with GSP’s return. Once I started reading about slower than expected ticket sales I immediately concluded that Diaz vs. GSP was going to happen. As great of a fighter as Condit is, he isn’t a draw. Diaz is and Diaz vs. GSP is a blockbuster fight. Whether Diaz deserves a title shot or not is irrelevant anymore in the UFC. Once Chael Sonnen got a title shot with no wins in the division off of a loss I think championships lost credibility.
I also think there is a big part of St-Pierre that wants to fight Diaz. It is easy to say Diaz needs a win to get to GSP but there is way too much at stake for that to happen. Let’s face it. The UFC has already tried to put this fight together twice and haven’t been able to pull it off. I think GSP demands this fight behind the scenes and the UFC caves. The only thing that prohibits this fight from happening in May or June is Diaz having issues getting licensed by the commission.
Johny Hendricks has to be in the hunt for a title shot after his fast KO win over Martin Kampmann tonight. The win was one of the most impressive I have ever seen in the UFC. He has a lot of hype right now coming out of UFC 154. Nick Diaz may be bigger on paper but you put a tape together of Hendricks KO’ing a bunch of fighters and I think you could have something there with Hendricks vs. GSP. While I’d rather see Diaz as a fan get the shot, Hendricks certainly deserves it.
Another interesting scenario would be a Hendricks vs. Diaz fight. That would be one hell of an intriguing fight given Hendricks’ KO ability and Diaz’s propensity for throwing a lot of standing strikes. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if that is the way things go if St-Pierre does wind up taking the Silva fight.
Lee McGregor will have a full rundown of UFC 154 right here on the Camel Clutch Blog later in the week with analysis and reaction to all of the big fights. Check back next week for the blog.
Full UFC 154 results and winners…
Georges St-Pierre defeated Carlos Condit via unanimous decision
ohny Hendricks defeated Martin Kampmann via first-round KO
Francis Carmont defeated Tom Lawlor via split decision
Pablo Garza defeated Mark Hominick via unanimous decision
Mark Bocek vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Patrick Cote defeated Alessio Sakara via disqualification
Cyrille Diabate defeated Chad Griggs via submission
Antonio Carvalho defeated Rodrigo Damm via split decision
John Makdessi defeated Sam Stout via unanimous decision
Matthew Riddle defeated John Maguire via unanimous decision
Ivan Menjivar defeated Azamat Gashimov via submission (armbar)
Darren Elkins defeated Steven Siler via unanimous decision
The UFC makes it’s long awaited return to La Belle Province this weekend as it also makes its return to the airwaves of Pay Per View. Live from the Bell Center in Montreal, Quebec, Canada the UFC brings UFC 154 live this Saturday night. Featuring the return of UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre defending his title against Interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit, this card should bring tons of excitement. And with the potential of Anderson Silva being in the building, possibly or possibly not to call out St. Pierre after the bout, this Saturday should hold a lot of intrigue for a number of fight fans.
As usual the UFC has loaded a lot of the preliminary card with local Canadian grown talent and although this card has been criticized for lacking big name value outside of the main event there are a number of bouts that should offer sufficient fireworks for fight fans. In the co-main event of the evening Martin Kampmann will take on Johny Hendricks in a bout that could easily determine the next contender for the UFC Welterweight title. In other main card action Canadian Featherweight fighter Mark Hominick tries to get back on track against Pablo Garza. In Middleweight action Nick Ring takes on Costa Philippou in a bout that could turn into a slugfest quickly. The other main card bout features GSP’s training partner Francis Carmont taking on the always-entertaining Tom Lawlor.
Preliminary Card (Facebook): Featherweight Bout: Steven Siler vs. Darren Elkins
Steven “The Miller Killer” Siler is an American fighter from Anaheim, California. He was a cast member on the final season of The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV as a member of Team Mayhem Miller. Siler is a member of the Pit Elevated Fight Team, training out of Orem, Utah. At 5’11” with a 70-inch reach Siler is one of the taller fighters in the Featherweight division and he has improved at fighting well at a range, using his height to pepper his opponents from the outside. On the ground he is a talented grappler with strong submissions. Siler holds a career record of 21-9, but has won 16 of his last 18, finishing 15 of those 16 opponents.
Darren Elkins is a talented wrestler from Hobart, Indiana. The 28-year-old is a former state champion wrestler from Portage High School in Indiana. Elkins is a very tough and durable fighter as he proved in his bout against Diego Brandao where he took a hell of a beating in the first round, but stormed back using a wrestling heavy attack to control an exhausted Brandao over the final two rounds. Elkins also holds a notable victory over Bellator Champion Pat Curran. Elkins trains at the Duneland Vale Tudo Gym in Hobart, Indiana. He holds a career record of 14-2, but is a perfect 3-0 inside the UFC since dropping to Featherweight.
Analysis and Prediction: Siler is tall for the division, somewhat lanky and very aggressive on the ground. He’s highly underrated as a grappler and is dangerous in both the striking realm and off of his back. Elkins is a talented wrestler who is durable and tough as he showcased in his bout against Diego Brandao. But still he’s fairly one-dimensional and probably would have lost if Brandao didn’t gas as badly as he did. Siler just fought a talented wrestler in Joey Gambino and Gambino had nothing for him, Elkins is a better fighter, but his style doesn’t match up well against Siler. Steven Siler via Submission in Round One
Preliminary Card (Facebook): Bantamweight Bout: Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov
Ivan “The Pride of El Salvador” Menjivar is a Canadian fighter who was born in El Salvador. The 30-year-old is a veteran of MMA, making his professional debut in January of 2001. Menjivar is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who now trains at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec. Menjivar is a tough fighter who has not been stopped since an early career bout in 2002. Menjivar is a well-rounded fighter and will be fighting on his home court, he may be tough to beat. Menjivar holds a career record of 24-9.
Azamat “Tough Guy” Gashimov is a Russian fighter from Makhachkala, Russia. Gashimov has recently moved stateside and is training out of Greg Jackson’s Camp in New Mexico, but has also spent time at the American Kickboxing Academy in Fairfield, New Jersey. Gashimov will be making his UFC debut and it will also be his first bout outside of Russia or the Ukraine. Gashimov has a pro record of 7-1, but it has been against less than stellar competition.
Analysis and Prediction: Basically, Gashimov breaks all of my rules for predicting fighters to win. He’s a sizeable underdog, he’s making his UFC debut, it’s his first fight in North America and he’s basically fought nobody of note. He’s got a background in Combat Sambo, which has proven to be an excellent starting ground for MMA, but he’s overmatched here in almost any way I can think of. Depending on how tough he is, he might make round three, but I can’t imagine he wins. Ivan Menjivar via TKO in Round Three
Preliminary Card (Facebook): Welterweight Bout: Matthew Riddle vs. John Maguire
Matthew “Deep Waters” Riddle is an American fighter from Allentown, Pennsylvania. The 26-year-old is a wrestler who made his debut on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter. He holds the rare feat of having all of his professional bouts inside the UFC’s octagon. Although he is a talented wrestler with good top control, Riddle sometimes favors the striking game where he is oftentimes at a disadvantage. Riddle is a member of the Throwdown Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. He holds a career record of 6-1 with 1 No Contest.
John “The One” Maguire is an English fighter from Peterborough, England. The 29-year-old is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Maguire is a submission specialist who has won 10 of his 18 career bouts via submission. At 5’9” Maguire will be at a somewhat significant size disadvantage come fight night. Maguire is a member of the Tsunami Gym in Cambridge, England. Maguire has fought for a number of major European MMA promotions including Ultimate Challenge MMA, Cage Rage and BAMMA. He holds a career record of 18-4.
Prediction and Analysis: Maguire is a talented grappler, but he was most recently dispatched by John Hathaway. Riddle is a more talented wrestler than Hathaway and is massive for a Welterweight fighter. He’s been prone to stupidity and getting into brawls in the past, but against Maguire he actually might be the better striker and I don’t think Maguire can submit him from the bottom. Riddle takes a decision. Matt Riddle via Unanimous Decision
Preliminary Card (Facebook): Featherweight Bout: Antonio Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm
Antonio “Pato” Carvalho is a Canadian fighter from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The 33-year-old has been competing in MMA since 2002 and has competed for a number of promotions like Shooto, TKO, MFC and Warrior-1 MMA. Carvalho has been training in martial arts for a number of years and holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a black belt in Shotokan Karate and a green belt in Judo. He is a member of the Brazilian Top Team Canada and Abe Ani Combat Club training out of Oshawa, Ontario. He holds a career record of 14-5.
Rodrigo Damm is a 32-year-old Brazilian fighter from Vila Velha, Brazil. He has fought for a number of major MMA promotions throughout his career including World Victory Road, Jungle Fight, BODOG Fight, Shooto and Strikeforce. He made his UFC debut by appearing on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Like many Brazilian fighters he holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and does his best work in the grappling department. He is a member of the Alliance Jiu Jitsu team training out of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He holds a career record of 10-5.
Prediction and Analysis: Damm has been around the block when it comes to big fight experience, but Carvalho is no slouch either. Damm is a talented grappler and a decent striker, but he’s not physically imposing and he’s not really an excellent wrestler. Carvalho isn’t a great grappler, but his striking is lights out and he is able to counter really effectively. If Damm can keep spamming takedowns than Carvalho might not be able to stay off of his back. But the more likely scenario is that he eats a couple of punches coming in and gets rocked. Antonio Carvalho via TKO in Round Two
Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Sam Stout vs. John Makdessi
Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout is a Canadian fighter from London, Ontario, Canada. The 28-year-old is a former student of the late Shawn Tompkins, training out of the Team Tompkins Gym in his hometown of London, Ontario. Stout is a talented striker who is a former professional kick boxer, he is also known for having a very strong chin, as he has never been knocked out in his MMA career. In his last fight he showed off a new wrinkle in his game by using takedowns and top control to outwork Spencer Fisher. Stout holds a career record of 18-7-1.
John “The Bull” Makdessi is a 27-year-old Canadian fighter from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is a kickboxing and karate based fighter who does his best work in the striking realm. Makdessi is a member of the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec but also trains at his own facility at the Team Bull Gym in Laval, Quebec. Makdessi owns a black belt in Shotokan Karate and has a background in Tae Kwan Do as well. Despite being a talented striker he has struggled in the past by being far too passive, looking to counter instead of pressuring his opponents. He holds a career record of 9-2.
Prediction and Analysis: Makdessi has had two major weaknesses in his career so far; tentativeness and his ground game. Stout despite his nickname might not have the most power in his punches, but he’s a solid kick boxer who can put combinations together well and pressure opponents. He’s also shown an ability to use his wrestling effectively, as he did in his bout against Spencer Fisher. If Stout comes in with a smart game plan, there’s no reason he doesn’t take a decision victory. Sam Stout via Unanimous Decision
Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Mark Bocek vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Mark Bocek is a Canadian fighter from Toronto, Ontario. Bocek is a talented grappler who is known as one of the top grapplers from Canada. Bocek is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and also holds a black belt in Kempo Bocek is an enormous talent on the mat, but his striking skills are not as far along as his ground skills and he has struggled in the past against strikers who are able to fend off his takedowns. Bocek is a Jiu Jitsu coach at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec. He holds a career record of 11-4.
Rafael dos Anjos is a Brazilian fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dos Anjos is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, who has also made great strides in improving his striking skills. He has improved Muay Thai skills and possesses big power in his hands. In his last bout he showcased his improved striking skills as he outworked talented kick boxer Anthony Njokuani for a Unanimous Decision victory. Dos Anjos is a member of the Evolve MMA Gym in Brazil and Singapore. He holds a career record of 17-6.
Prediction and Analysis: Bocek is a talented grappler, but his offensive wrestling skills aren’t the greatest. He gets takedowns more so through technique than raw strength. His striking skills are also a little bit below par. Dos Anjos has been improving his wrestling skills as of late and is far and above a better striker than Bocek. I think dos Anjos should be able to keep the bout standing long enough to land a big shot and ruin Bock’s night. Rafael dos Anjos via TKO in Round Two
Preliminary Card (FX): Light Heavyweight Bout: Cyrille Diabate vs. Chad Griggs
Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate is a French fighter from La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France. He is a former professional kick boxer who compiled a professional kickboxing record of 41-8-2. At 6’6” he is one of the biggest Light Heavyweights in the UFC. The 39-year-old has been competing in combat sports for almost half his life. With an 81.5-inch reach he is one the lankiest strikers in the UFC and is excellent at using his range well. He trains with his own striking team, The Snake Team, as well as spending time at the Team Quest Gym in California. Diabate holds a career record of 18-8-1.
Chad “The Gravedigger” Griggs is an American fighter from Tucson, Arizona. Griggs is best known for his Strikeforce career where he upset former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley and highly hyped prospect Gian Villante at Heavyweight. He’s also well known for his excellent muttonchops sideburns. Griggs is a decent grinder who does his best work at close distance. He’s also extremely durable as he showcased in the bout against Lashley. Griggs in addition to being a fighter works as a fulltime fire fighter and paramedic in his hometown of Tucson. He holds a career record of 11-2.
Prediction and Analysis: I feel like I’m picking a bit against the pack here, but I like Griggs in this fight. Diabate is a talented striker who is tall and uses his range well. However, he’s pretty poor on the ground and although Griggs isn’t the most talented grappler, he’s a grinder who can make the fight ugly. He’s going to have to get inside quickly and use a couple of takedowns to win some points against the Frenchman. If he can get inside and get the bout to the ground consistently, I think he can score a decision win. Chad Griggs via Unanimous Decision
Preliminary Card (FX): Middleweight Bout: Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara
Patrick “The Predator” Cote is a Canadian fighter from Rimouski, Quebec. He is a former TKO Middleweight champion. Cote spent time in the Canadian armed forces, where he learned to box. He then learned kickboxing and wrestling in addition to compliment his martial arts background. Cote is a member of the Tristar Gym in Montreal but also trains with BTT Canada and trains his Muay Thai at Sityodong Boston. Cote is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu although he rarely uses his grappling skills and prefers to stand and trade on the feet. Cote holds a professional MMA record of 17-8 with 8 wins coming by way of knockout.
Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara is an Italian fighter from Rome, Italy. The 31-year-old is a former professional boxer, who compiled an 8-1 record in that sport. He is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu formerly training under Ricardo Almeida, but like Cote prefers to settle bouts with his fists. Sakara is an excellent striker, he puts combinations together well and can mix it up when he needs to. His biggest problem as of late has been his chin, as he’s been finished a number of times in his career and has been rocked in nearly every bout since 2009. He now trains with the American Top Team in Florida. Sakara holds a professional MMA record of 15-9 with 1 No Contest.
Analysis and Prediction: Sakara is a talented striker but he’s been betrayed by his chin more often than not. Cote is definitely not going very far during his current UFC tenure but he likely has the power to touch Sakara’s chin and put it to the test. Cote was soundly outworked in his last bout against Cung Le and Sakara can probably employ a similar game plan. The question is always whether or not he can do it without getting knocked out in the process. Really, I think Cote probably wins this one, and it might even be his last win in the UFC. Patrick Cote via KO in Round One
Main Card (Pay Per View): Featherweight Bout: Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza
Mark “The Machine” Hominick is a Canadian fighter from Thamesford, Ontario. The 30-year-old is a training partner of Sam Stout and is a former pupil of the late Shawn Tompkins. He is a member of the Adrenaline Training Center/Team Tompkins Gym in London, Ontario. Hominick was a former UFC Featherweight title contender, but has fallen on hard times and has lost three straight bouts, he very well could be fighting for his job on Saturday night. Hominick is a talented kick boxer who puts his combinations together well, unfortunately in his last couple of bouts, we haven’t seen much of that. Hominick holds a career record of 20-11.
Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza is an American fighter from Fargo, North Dakota. The 29-year-old is a former cast member of the twelfth season of The Ultimate Fighter, though he failed to gain entry into the house after losing his elimination bout against Michael Johnson. Garza is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is a decent grappler, but has been controlled by strong wrestlers in the past. Though his Muay Thai striking skills are continuing to improve, he still does his best work on the mat where he has secured 7 Submission victories in the past. Garza trains out of the Academy of Combat Arts in Fargo as well as The Academy in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. He holds a career record of 11-3.
Prediction and Analysis: It’s been a pretty long fall for Hominick since he fought for the UFC Featherweight title and this basically seems like a fight designed to get him back on track. Although his bouts against Eddie Yagin and Chan Sung Jung were supposed to do the same thing, Garza doesn’t have the wrestling to take him down and his striking is definitely a few steps below that of Hominick. Unless Hominick gets reckless and goes to the ground with Garza for some reason, he should be able to out strike him on the feet en-route to a decision. Mark Hominick via Unanimous Decision
Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Nick Ring vs. Costa Philippou
Nick “The Promise” Ring is a Canadian fighter from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Ring is a 33-year-old who is best known for his being a cast member of the eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter. After a strong start on the show, he was eventually forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. He trains at the BDB Martial Arts Gym in Calgary as well as the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec. Ring is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a decent Muay Thai striker whose best skill is arguably his ability to earn close decisions from judges, even though he may not always be the clear victor. He has had success in the octagon however, and sports a 13-1 professional record.
Constantinos “Costa” Philippou is a Greek Cypriot fighter who now lives in New York, New York. The 32-year-old is a member of the Serra-Longo fight team in New York, training under former Welterweight Champion Matt Serra. Philippou is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but his real strength lies in his boxing skills. Like his opponent for this bout, he was a cast member on the eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter, however Philippou never made it into the house as he lost his elimination bout. Philippou is a talented striker, with big power in his hands, but at times he’s too focused on pure boxing instead of mixing it up with a variety of kicks and takedown attempts. Still he’s found recent success and is on a three-bout winning streak, he holds a career record of 11-2.
Prediction and Analysis: Ring is a grinder and he’s the kind of fighter who could easily give Philippou fits, but the man from New York has been on a tear as of late. Ring also has a strange way of mesmerizing judges into giving him decisions that he doesn’t necessarily deserve. Ring will need to keep his feet moving and stay outside the range of Philippou’s strong strikes. I don’t really think he can run for three rounds without getting tagged somewhere along the way. I like Ring, but this might be a tough match up for him. Costa Philippou via TKO in Round Three
Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Francis Carmont vs. Tom Lawlor
Francis “Limitless” Carmont is a French fighter from Saint-Tropez, France. Recently he began spending part of his training at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. At that gym he has become a training partner of Georges St. Pierre and has become somewhat of a prodigy of the Welterweight champion. He is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak and is 3-0 in the UFC so far. Carmont is a tall athletic fighter who is able to throw knees and kicks both at a distance and in the clinch. Carmont has proven to be a tough match up for anyone in the UFC both on the mat and in the striking realm, but he’s made a few mistakes along the way, but no one has found the ability to make him truly pay for it yet. Carmont holds a career record of 19-7.
“Filthy” Tom Lawlor is an American fighter from Fall River, Massachusetts. The 29 year old was a cast member on eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter. A talented and tough grinder who wrestled for the University of Central Florida before becoming a professional fighter. Lawlor is a member of Team Aggression fighting out of Lauzon MMA in Providence, Rhode Island. Lawlor is best known for his brash personality and highly entertaining ring entrances. He holds a career record of 8-4 with 1 No Contest.
Prediction and Analysis: Carmont is a true talent and he has proven to be a possible Middleweight up-and-comer and Lawlor should prove to be a good litmus test to see where his skills stand. Lawlor is a tough grinder who can use top control and takedowns to control Carmont on the mat. Carmont has the striking and the aggressive submission game that could carry him to victory, but he’s been prone to a few mental lapses in the past. If Carmont is smart and avoids taking any unnecessary risks, he should be able to stop Lawlor. Francis Carmont via TKO in Round Two
Main Card (Pay Per View): Welterweight Bout: Martin Kampmann vs. Johny Hendricks
Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann is a Danish fighter from Aarhus, Denmark. Kampmann is a member of the Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a talented kick boxer who also holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and can be dangerous wherever the fight goes. Despite being overwhelmed and on the verge of defeat in his last two bouts, Kampmann somehow found a way to storm back and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. His durability and ability to pull out those hail-mary victories are one of the Dane’s strongest traits. Kampmann has a career record of 20-5, although his most recent two losses to Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez via Decision were highly controversial.
Johnny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks is an American fighter from Ada, Oklahoma. The 29-year-old is a former NCAA All-American wrestler from Oklahoma State University. During his high school wrestling career he also won three Oklahoma State titles. Hendricks is a member of Team Takedown training out of Dallas, Texas. He has been rapidly improving his striking skills and recent victories over Josh Koscheck (decision) and Jon Fitch (knockout) have showcased that improved striking. Still Hendricks is at heart a wrestler and does his best work when he uses takedowns and top control to control his opponents. He holds a career record of 13-1.
Analysis and Prediction: A lot of people are very high on Johny Hendricks, but I’m not completely sold. His bouts against Mike Pierce and Josh Koscheck were extremely close split decisions, and I actually think Koscheck won their bout. His KO against Fitch doesn’t say a whole lot, since it ended before it even really got started. But these two are former training partners and should be slightly familiar with one another since it was Hendricks who is at least partially responsible for helping the Dane to improve his wrestling skills. Hendricks has fallen in love with his hands a bit too much lately and though he might have the power to stop Kampmann if he hits a big shot, I think he’ll be at a disadvantage in the stand up. If he’s not willing to change game plans in mid-fight, this might be another upset in the making. Martin Kampmann via Split Decision
Main Card (Pay Per View): Welterweight Championship Bout: Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit
Georges “Rush” St. Pierre is a Canadian fighter from Saint-Isidore, Quebec. GSP is the reigning and defending UFC Welterweight Champion. St. Pierre has a longtime background in martial arts beginning to learn karate at the age of seven. He holds a 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin karate, a 1st degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a black belt in Gaidojutsu and a black belt in Shidokan. St. Pierre is also a talented wrestler with an explosive double leg takedown. St. Pierre is an excellent boxer, who used to rely heavily on a Muay Thai style, but has more recently switched to more of a straight boxing approach to striking, ever since training heavily with famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach. St. Pierre will be making his first appearance inside the octagon since April 2011 as a torn ACL has kept him on the sidelines for the past year. He holds a career record of 22-2.
Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit is an American fighter from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Condit is a former WEC Welterweight Champion and is currently the UFC Interim Welterweight Champion. A Muay Thai kick boxer with a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Condit is a dangerous grappler and has a strong striking arsenal. In his last bout against Nick Diaz, Condit completely outworked Diaz using a boxing game plan with strong footwork to take a unanimous decision. Condit is a member of Greg Jackson’s MMA in his hometown, training under the tutelage of head coach Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn. Condit holds a career record of 28-5, including 26 victories via stoppage.
Prediction and Analysis: It’s hard to make a lot of assumptions about this fight. St. Pierre hasn’t fought in over a year, but the layoff has been nearly as long for Condit who hasn’t fought since defeating Nick Diaz. In that bout Condit used an excellent game plan and strong footwork and boxing to outwork Diaz all the way to a decision victory. However, he has struggled against controlling wrestlers who are able to take him down and control him on the mat, nullifying his aggressive submission game.
Before the injury, GSP was a top three pound for pound fighter. It’s hard to say what version of St. Pierre is going to be in the cage on Saturday night. He’s a talented kick boxer with great takedowns, but he relies a lot on timing and the explosiveness behind his shots. To compare his injury to other sports, many star Running Backs in the NFL are never the same again after surgeries like the one GSP just underwent. If that surgery has slowed his speed or agility, he might not be the same fighter that was once feared and respected in the Welterweight division.
As former training partners, these two are likely going to be very familiar with one another. However, coach Greg Jackson removed himself completely from the bout, so it will be interesting to see what assistant coaches like Firas Zahibi and Mike Winkeljohn will have come up with for each of their fighters. GSP is likely going to be trying to take a similar approach to the one he used to use before he was injured. Working his striking behind a solid jab, he’s going to want to close the distance and shoot for takedowns early and often. Condit is an aggressive grappler with a very active guard, so it won’t be enough to just lay in Condit’s guard, he’ll need to be active and careful to avoid getting caught with anything on the mat.
Condit has proven himself to be an excellent striker with great counter punching skills. His ability to punch to the body may also become an integral part of his game plan. He showed a lot of body punches in his bout against Diaz, in addition to his strong footwork. If you remember when Matt Serra shocked the world against GSP, he used a couple of big body punches to make GSP lower his hands before going for the kill shot. It’s unlikely that Condit can outwork GSP for a decision, so if he wants to win he’s got to finish him.
It’s not really a secret that I dislike GSP, and I’m not a big fan of his wrestling based style. His lack of finishing ability has earned him some flack from fans in the past, but he’s promised that he’ll be searching for the finish in this bout. If that’s true, he might leave himself more open to counter punches. Also, if his knee injury has impacted his ability at all, then it’s going to make an upset even more likely. Carlos Condit via KO in Round Three
Full UFC fight card…
Georges St-Pierre vs Carlos Condit
Martin Kampmann vs Johny Hendricks
Francis Carmont vs Tom Lawlor
Nick Ring vs Constantinos Philippou
Mark Hominick vs Pablo Garza
Patrick Cote vs Alessio Sakara
Cyrille Diabate vs Chad Griggs
Mark Bocek vs Rafael Dos Anjos
Sam Stout vs John Makdessi
Antonio Carvalho vs Rodrigo Damm
Matthew Riddle vs John Maguire
Ivan Menjivar vs Azamat Gashimov
Steven Siler vs Darren Elkins
The Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre fight talk is about to take a really interesting twist. According to Silva’s management, the often reclusive Silva will be in Montreal for GSP’s next fight vs. Carlos Condit and could make his presence known if GSP can pull out the win.
Fighters attending UFC events is not often a big news story in MMA circles…unless the fighter is Anderson Silva. Silva on the other hand presents a story. Silva is known as a fighter who rarely attends UFC events so just the fact that the Spider will be in Montreal has already gotten people talking.
Silva’s manager Jorge Guimaraes broke the news on UFC Tonight. Guimaraes told UFC Tonight that Silva will be sitting ringside for GSP’s big comeback. This has already led to widespread reports that Silva will call out GSP should St-Pierre be victorious, laying down the grand challenge live in GSP’s home city on pay per view.
Silva has worked diligently at getting this GSP Superfight. Silva has openly campaigned in the media for well over a year now about a potential St-Pierre fight. The UFC reportedly are on board and ready to make the fight. Unfortunately GSP remains the lone holdout and appears to be annoyed every time the question is asked.
Silva’s challenge to GSP has presented arguments from both fans and critics of the UFC middleweight champion. Fans want to see two of the best lock horns in the UFC regardless of the weight difference. Critics on the other hand (myself included) look at this as an unfair fight and believe the size difference is too much of a mismatch. Keep in mind that Silva is coming off a fight at 205 pounds and is now calling out the 170 pound champion.
Critics argue that instead of calling out GSP that Silva should be working towards a big fight with Jon Jones. Like GSP, there is a size difference there for sure. However, Silva has fought at 205 pounds on three occasions in the UFC and has looked absolutely flawless in each fight. While Silva has opened the door a bit in recent weeks about a Jones fight, it does seem a bit odd that the UFC would even encourage the size mismatch with GSP while not putting any pressure on him for a Jones fight.
This news certainly won’t excite GSP who has grown tired of the Silva talk leading up to UFC 154.
“I hate that. They talk to me about the next fight, and I’m not there. Like I’m supposed to win easy, like it’s a joke. Carlos Condit is a dangerous guy. I always respect my opponent. My life is on the line…
It depends on the time. I don’t know. I haven’t thought about [fighting Silva]. I know he’s a big guy. I have to sit down and analyze it.”
I am still a little surprised that the UFC is even entertaining this idea. For Silva and Jones who have cleaned out their divisions, it makes sense. For GSP, there is still a big money fight on the table with Nick Diaz in the division. After that the UFC could be looking at another big fight in the division with GSP’s pupil Rory MacDonald. With the way Jon Fitch fought in Brazil, a potential rematch with GSP could also have some legs. Taking GSP out of the division and putting these fights on hold for a mismatch with Silva just doesn’t add up to me. Especially when GSP has repeatedly said he has very little interest in the fight to begin with.
Now GSP would have to get past Carlos Condit to even entertain the Silva fight and that won’t be easy. I have to think for a guy as focused as GSP, that all of this Silva talk along with The Spider’s appearance may add as a distraction to the champion.
At least we’ll find out once and for all at UFC 154 whether this fight is going to happen or not. If GSP says no it’s time to close the door on this one for good.
Greg Jackson is turning into one of the most polarizing coaches in MMA. His track record as a coach is arguably the greatest of any MMA coach from this era. However, I think a fair question to ask is whether these wins & losses are coming at the cost of MMA and the UFC.
Jackson’s list of champions is a who’s who of MMA. I don’t think anyone would question his track record and game planning. Yet after the recent Clay Guida vs. Gray Maynard debacle, I immediately developed an immense hatred for the man and his tactics. Thanks to Jackson’s “game-planning” the UFC delivered one of the most disappointing main-events in their history of television fights. Even worse, Guida’s reputation went from warrior to runner in a fight that saw Guida run for five rounds and walk away with a loss.
Now I will say this about the fight. As much as I hated it, I was shocked Guida lost. I was so enraged when the final buzzer sounded that I turned the fight off. I didn’t bother waiting for a winner to be announced because quite frankly, I thought it was a given that Guida won. I was stunned the next day when I read that Maynard came away with a decision. But at the end of the day it was Jackson that put his fighter in the position to lose.
Fighting in the UFC is a real tricky thing for a Mixed-Martial Artist. There is a real fine line between winning fights and entertaining fans. Guys like Jon Fitch and even Maynard have rolled off numerous wins only to be criticized by Dana White for not producing exciting fights. At the same time, sacrificing a smart game plan for an exciting fan will give you a lousy record and a fast ticket out of the UFC. This is why I always found UFC bonuses to be a little unscrupulous. The UFC is almost manipulating fights by saying, “Hey stand up and throw and you can win a bonus.” That is fine but shouldn’t a win mean more than a lucky punch?
White is no fan of Jackson‘s coaching or the way he conducts business. Between Jackson’s insistence that fighters in his camp don’t fight each other (when it’s convenient) and recent game plans which saw more running than fighting, I almost think White would be happier if Jackson announced a sudden retirement. Yet at the end of the day the UFC is a business and it is time to seriously question whether Jackson is good for the business of MMA?
Jackson took credit for Guida’s game plan, even in the face of a loss. “I wanted Clay to, after he drew Gray out, to engage a little bit more, but I think Clay was waiting for him to open up a little bit and he was able to land some combinations when he did that. But one of the things that I think both Clay and I learned is that … we need to do a little more right after the misses, kind of jumping on him a little bit more. I chalk it up to experience and a learning process, and hopefully we won’t be in that situation again where we have such a close decision. Hopefully we’ll be able to dominate the next time.”
It took Jackson until 2012 to realize that his fighters need to capitalize on openings? Come on! Does anyone think for a second that Jackson is seriously going to change his strategies moving forward from this? He didn’t learn when Lyoto Machida knocked Rashad Evans clear into next week and that was years ago. Has Jackson had success with similar plans since then? Fans run when they hear the name “Nate Marquardt.” Sure, Carlos Condit just won the interim title with this brilliant strategy. However, ask yourself how many fans want to pay $50 to ever see Carlos Condit fight again?
Luke Rockhold of Strikeforce is already concerned about Jackson’s game planning regarding his upcoming fight against Jackson-coached Tim Kennedy. “… not a fan of Greg Jackson game plans, so I just hope that [Kennedy] comes out and fights me in the middle, and fights me everywhere.” No fighter wants to step into the octagon and worry about their opponent running away from them for three-five rounds. That is not the competition most of these guys signed up for.
To be fair, Jackson has trained plenty of fighters who deliver exciting fights. Jon Jones and Leonard Garcia are just two guys that come to mind who happen to be two of the most exciting fighters in MMA. So what is the problem here? Is it the fighter or is it Jackson? Is it a case where Jackson has more confidence in some fighters than others? I don’t care what you call it but Jackson has had enough of these snoozers in the last few years to make MMA fans concerned, considering the large number of fighters he coaches.
Stick and moving is fine but not when the moving is about 80% of the game plan. Fighters need to seriously reconsider these game plans before giving Jackson the thumbs up on the strategy. The disgruntled UFC viewer won’t remember that Greg Jackson coached a boring strategy in the fight they just wasted their time or money watching. Fans will remember the fight that walked into the octagon and left looking more like a coward than a warrior. If it works for you in the win column, that’s great, but at the end of the day this is a business and if people refuse to pay for your fights going forward, the fighter, the UFC, and the fans will all be losing in the end.
“This isn’t (expletive) ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ You can’t win a fight by running around in circles – that’s not how fights are won.” – Dana White at the UFC on FX 4 Press Conference
The above quote is from Dana White after watching the UFC on FX 4 Main Event between Gray Maynard and Clay Guida. For those of you who haven’t seen the bout, I would recommend that you probably don’t, unless you have a keen interest in fighters that fail to engage their opponents, or perhaps if you’re having trouble sleeping. Guida’s performance from that bout and his game plan have earned him the ire of many in the MMA community including fighters, bloggers and even the UFC President.
After immediately watching the bout I myself was pretty angry. I am a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC, but fights like that aren’t what I tune in regularly to see. Before I get too far into this let me preface this by saying that Guida is low on my favorite fighters list, in fact, I strongly dislike Guida as a fighter. Secondly, immediately after watching the bout, I said to myself ‘This is all Greg Jackson’s fault.” Like me, many in the MMA community have shared that sentiment and it’s not the first time that Jackson has been blamed for a poor fight due to his game planning.
But really, is Greg Jackson the one to be blamed in all of this? Mixed Martial Arts is a relatively young sport and it is still developing, making rapid leaps and bounds constantly. Because of this, it’s experiencing some growing pains. One of those growing pains is judging and scoring bouts. We all like to complain when fighters are “robbed” as we say, or if a fight is judged poorly and while oftentimes the case is that a judge is uneducated about what they are watching, the other fact is that the judging criteria for the ten-point must system in the UFC is slightly broken.
Let’s start with the source of the problem. We as fans are always following blindly behind UFC President Dana White when he tells fighters “don’t leave it in the hands of the judges.” This is a problem right here. There shouldn’t be an inherent problem with going to the scorecards. MMA bouts can’t go on indefinitely, that’s why there are judges there to score the contests, so why should fighters be fighting in fear of the scorecards?
The first problem is the broken perception that fighters who go to decisions are boring fighters, or that fights that go to Decisions aren’t exciting fights. If you can’t see the flawed thinking in those two statements then I question how much MMA you have truly watched in your lifetime. There are a number of fighters that I could name off who regularly fight to decisions, but are among the most exciting in the world; Dominick Cruz, Frankie Edgar, Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin and Clay Guida just to name a few.
The second problem lies with the UFC and the make up of the sport. Fighters are paid to show up and win, they’re expected to entertain, but the ultimate goal is winning not entertainment. The people calling for Jackson’s head because of his game planning need to look hard at the UFC itself. Game plans are part of the sport and no one should be criticizing a fighter for fighting intelligently, in a contest between two evenly matched fighters, the one who fights more intelligently and more to his strengths and his opponents weaknesses will win the fight every time. In other sports; take the NFL for example good game planning is called good coaching. Is anyone ever going to call Tom Coughlin bad for the sport of football because he’s shut down Tom Brady in two Superbowls? Unlikely at best.
So if game plans aren’t the problem and fighting to a decision isn’t the problem, what is? I think right now the sport itself is the problem. While we watch fights to be entertained, the goal of the fighter is to win. Most fighters are inherently entertaining, or will try to entertain as much as they can, but rarely is an intelligent fighter going to sacrifice the chance to win to entertain the fans. If the UFC wants to make fights more exciting, than they need to take a look at the scoring, officiating and judging of MMA bouts.
Currently, MMA uses a ten-point must system. Whether or not this is the best system for MMA and the UFC, is a whole other argument, we’re stuck with it for now, so how can it be improved? Better definitions of what causes a round to be won or lost. Better definitions of effective aggression, octagon control and their impact on a round. Better use of the ten-point must system, including the use of 10-10 rounds as well as 10-8 and 10-7 rounds.
In the final round of the Guida vs. Maynard fight, referee Dan Mirgliotta had seen enough in the fifth round of the fight and issued Guida a warning for being timid and refusing to engage. A warning like this needs to be delivered sooner than the final round. As well, the implementation of Pride’s Yellow Card system might be a welcome addition to the UFC. In the Golden days of Pride Fighting Championships a fighter was issued a Yellow card for excessive stalling and timidity, if issued a yellow card that fighter was fined 20% of his purse, per violation. A system like this or a quicker warning to Guida could definitely have changed the way this fight played out.
The bottom line is that fighters are in the sport to win. And who can argue with them, it pays to be a winner. To take a look at the UFC’s top earners per fight, I would venture a guess that the top ten is nearly a who’s who of UFC Champions and top contenders. (Due to the nature of the UFC, it’s impossible to know 100% accurately what fighters make per fight.) However, according to several lists top fighters in 2011 included Michael Bisping; a top Middleweight contender, Jon Jones; UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Vitor Belfort; Top Middleweight Contender, Lyoto Machida; Top Light Heavyweight Contender and former Champion and Rashad Evans; Top Light Heavyweight Contender and former Champion.
Are game plans bad for the sport? Absolutely not, there’s nothing wrong with fighters who fight to their own strengths and into their opponent’s weaknesses. Are coaches like Greg Jackson bad for the sport? Of course not, intelligent revolutionary coaches in other sports like NBA, NFL and NHL win yearly awards for coming up with intelligent game plans. The problem is bad game plans and public perception.
Greg Jackson is probably the easiest target for fans and media members alike. This isn’t the first time he’s been thrown into the fire over game planning and fighting intelligently. The last time he simply typed up a list of various Fight Night awards that his fighters had won in the past and sent it to the MMA media. This time, he’s said basically nothing. But he really shouldn’t have to. His job is to help his fighters win fights, and this weekend for Clay Guida he did that.
Call Guida’s fight against Maynard what it was a crappy fight, based on a crappy game plan that was poorly executed. It’s not the first time a Team Jackson-Winklejohn fighter has tried to turn a fight into a point-sparring match, Carlos Condit did it infamously against Nick Diaz earlier this year. The difference was Condit used his game plan of constant movement to frustrate Diaz and out strike him, while Guida used it to run around for five rounds. However, this was the worst performance of one of those game plans that’s ever been seen.
For those people who are hating on Jackson relentlessly and saying that the Condit-Diaz fight is nearly the same as the Guida-Maynard fight, here’s a few numbers to help prove you wrong. Over the course of five rounds Guida threw 321 Significant Strikes and landed 45, for an awful connection percentage of 14%. He was out landed by the man he was trying to frustrate Gray Maynard by only 4 Significant Strikes (49 of 225) but was out struck by an 8% accuracy clip. Condit on the other hand, over the course of a five-round fight landed 151 of 320 Significant Strikes, landing at an impressive 47% rate. Condit also significantly out landed his opponent that night, Nick Diaz who landed 105 of 246 Significant Strikes.
Let’s face it folks, game planning and intelligent coaching is here to stay in MMA. And as long as Greg Jackson produces winners and champions, fighters will continue to flock to him for advice and training. But it’s not all bad, game plans aren’t bad for the sport, it’s proof that the sport we love is continuing to grow and evolve. Call the Guida-Maynard fight for what it was, a less than entertaining bout between two fighters who are capable of more. When two NFL teams stink up the field, we don’t stop watching them, don’t give up on MMA yet fans, there’s plenty more entertaining scraps to come.
We aren’t even into summer yet and the UFC is moving ahead with some big fall plans. According to several reports, two big championship fights are heading your way and the UFC has tentative dates for both headline fights.
The first big and I do mean big fight will head to Toronto, Canada on September 22. The UFC have targeted UFC 152 to hold the highly anticipated Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez UFC heavyweight championship rematch. The fight will be supported underneath in the co-main event with BJ Penn returning to the octagon to fight Canadian Rory MacDonald.
The second big championship fight will touch down on November 3 at UFC 154 also in Canada, specifically Montreal. Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will return after a lengthy hiatus to defend (or challenge) his belt against UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. The date is tentative as GSP is still recovering from a torn ACL. Johny Hendricks vs. Martin Kampmann will support in the semi-main event.
These are two huge fights and the UFC will close the year out with big numbers thanks to these two headline fights. In my opinion the Dos Santos vs. Velasquez rematch will be the biggest fight of the year and could rival UFC 100 for the top buy rate spot. 5.7 million people tuned in to Fox to watch their first fight. Over 500,000 people paid to watch their last fights on the UFC 146 event recently. There are a lot of people who know who these fighters are, have watched both knock out opponents, and appreciate the rivalry. I don’t think there is any other fight on the books right now that can rival this series.
The tipping point in my mind is Cain Velasquez’s brutal TKO victory over Big Foot Silva at UFC 146. Fight fans love a great heavyweight fight, especially when it comes to two sluggers. Fans expect to see a knock out here and if they expect heavy hands, they will buy the fight. This one has the makings of an all-time classic when it comes to hype and I think Velasquez just sold himself to any doubters that think Dos Santos would run through him again.
The GSP fight is a tricky one to predict. Georges is still one of the most recognizable and popular fighters in the UFC. He still draws on his name alone and people are curious to see how GSP reacts coming off of a big injury. Unfortunately for the UFC, this is not the fight the fans want to see. The fans want to see Diaz vs. GSP and that could be a problem here. I am intrigued by seeing Condit vs. GSP but the timing is just off when it comes to business.
Add Dan Henderson vs. Jon Jones to the September docket and you have a jam packed fall schedule for the UFC. With Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen fighting in early July, there is a great chance that the winner would also be ready to fight before the year is up. While things can always change due to injuries, fight fans have a lot to get excited about come this fall courtesy of the UFC.
The Nick Diaz-Nevada State Athletic Commission saga has finally come to an end. After legal maneuverings from Diaz, he finally had his day in court with the NSAC and while he gave a valiant effort, Diaz will be put on ice for one year.
This was some scene today as Diaz pleaded his case to the NSAC for what seemed like hours. I tried watching the proceedings but it just didn’t end. Diaz to his credit told his story and answered all questions from the NSAC. Yet the end of the story concluded the way most MMA experts predicted with Diaz on the losing side of the legal battle.
The hearing today came as a result of Diaz testing positive for Marijuana metabolites after his UFC 143 fight with Carlos Condit. Diaz was suspended with a hearing pending Diaz producing a medical exemption card. Diaz sued claiming that the NSAC failed to give Diaz a hearing within the legal time frame. That argument was thrown out and the NSAC will punish Diaz for his positive test.
It was a unanimous vote against Diaz. Diaz will be suspended for one year effective February 3, 2011, the date of his last fight. Diaz will also have to pay a $79,500 fine which I am sure he isn’t happy about considering how often he complains about money. So for those of you doing the math out there, you will have to wait nine months before the chaos known as Nick Diaz comes back to the UFC.
I did find Diaz’s attorney fascinating during the hearing. To be honest, I was almost convinced that Diaz would get off after hearing some of Ross Goodman’s arguments. One of Goodman’s main points was that there was no conclusive way to determine whether Diaz used marijuana within the fight time frame. He also argued that the metabolite Diaz tested positive for was an inactive metabolite.
A fascinating tidbit from the hearing came from Keith Kizer. Kizer testified that Diaz’s sample after the BJ Penn fight came back diluted. He did not positive, but Kizer believed it was diluted. I had never heard or seen that reported anywhere.
I don’t necessarily feel sorry for Diaz but there is a part of me that thinks his punishment was a bit harsh. It is hard to argue in my mind that what Diaz did by having metabolites in his system is a lot worse than what Alistair Overeem and the circumstances surrounding Overeem when it came to trying to cover up his infraction. Yet after all is said and done Overeem got 9 months and Diaz got 12 with a heavier fine. It just smacks of inconsistency which is a major problem I have with these state athletic commissions.
So there will be no Diaz vs. Condit rematch nor a Diaz vs. GSP fight in 2012. This presents an interesting predicament for the UFC. Condit won the “interim” welterweight title when he defeated Diaz in February. Condit has said publicly that he didn’t want to take another fight until GSP comes back which would not be until November. Some felt that Condit and/of the UFC were just stalling until the Nick Diaz situation played out. Now that Diaz is on ice, will Condit fight before November? If not, what was the point of crowning an interim champion? Will the UFC force Condit to fight?
I am and have been a Nick Diaz fan for a long time. I hope that at some point the worlds align for the GSP vs. Diaz fight in 2013. Other than Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva, it is the biggest fight that the UFC could make. I just hope that this grudge match hasn’t gone up in smoke for good.