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.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]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.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]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
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