UFC 154 Preview

It has been a long time coming, this fight or any fight involving the Welterweight championship in the UFC. The division has seen a very long and strange road led by the leader in the division as GSP was the epicenter of everything. It all started in 2011 when the Welterweight Champion and one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world was slated to take on Nick Diaz in a title fight that had many people wondering if the champion’s reign would end. Then Diaz decided not to show up for the press conference and Dana White had seen enough taking the fight away from Diaz. His replacement would not be any easier for GSP as Carlos Condit would step in as a formidable opponent. Then the unthinkable happened as St. Pierre, who had never dropped out of a fight or missed a fight for any reason, went down with an injury. While preparing for the fight GSP had his leg rolled on in what he originally thought was a minor hamstring injury. The fight was pushed back to let him recover until it was revealed that the injury was a tear in the ACL putting the champion out for the immediate future. With GSP sidelined both contenders would face off instead as Carlos Condit would fight Nick Diaz for the interim Welterweight Title. After the fight Condit emerged as the new champion, although some claim it was a controversial victory, and would reign as the champion for the better part of a year as he would wait for Georges St. Pierre to return to the octagon. Condit would not take a fight after winning the fight against Diaz as he would wait and prepare for the person in his mind is still the champion. It would be over a year before Georges St. Pierre would be ready to step back into the octagon but the most anticipated return in the UFC is finally here. UFC 154 will feature the fight that everyone has been waiting for as Georges St. Pierre makes his return to the UFC after a year on the sidelines to unify the Welterweight Title. Before the injury St. Pierre was one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. Only rivaled by Anderson Silva St. Pierre was in the middle of one of the most dominant championship reigns in UFC history. With a 22-2 record in the UFC and the second longest title reign in UFC history with 7 straight title defences starting in 2007 when he won the title against Matt Hughes. He was an extremely well-rounded fighter who was comfortable standing up, with his technical striking, or on the ground with good wrestling and jiu jitsu. GSP was a dominant force and no challenger was able to beat him no matter how good they were. The question is whether or not the injury will have a major impact on his ability, will he return as the same fighter as before the injury, or will his rehabilitation regiment make him even better. No matter what he returns as Carlos Condit will be ready for the best Georges St. Pierre. Condit is a relentless workhorse who has been training for this fight everyday for a year. He is much like GSP as he is very well-rounded like GSP but he differs in the fact that his stand up game is one of the best in the Welterweight division. He is strong and smart as he knows how to set a gameplan and stick to it. He showed this against Nick Diaz when he refused to get into an all out brawl and instead stayed on the outside causing damage. Condit has shown he is a smart fighter with a penchant for the KO, 3 KOs in 6 UFC fights. It is no doubt the toughest test for St. Pierre so far and with a full year off not to mention the pressure he will be under in his hometown and for his first appearance in a year it will be a true test of GSP the fighter and the man. Both fighters are essentially built the same with Condit having a more powerful stand up game. It is a tough fight to call as both fighters are just that good but GSP stepped up his training after the injury which is trouble for everyone in the Welterweight division. If GSP turns up better than he left it will be a long night for Condit but it will not be a blowout as I expect a great smart fight by both fighters to lead to a unanimous decision victory for Georges St. Pierre who will continue his time as Welterweight Champion.

As the champion is determined in the main event the next challenger might have already been decided. There are a few options to consider in the welterweight division but one fight at UFC 154 could determine the future of the division. Johny Hendricks takes on Martin Kampmann in a battle that could determine the next #1 contender. Barring the un-retirement of Nick Diaz, which could be a possibility if either Condit or St. Pierre wins, the winner of this fight will be the top contender. Hendricks has been on a tear as of late and after beating Jon Fitch his career took off. It was the first major opponent that Hendricks had beat and he would take the momentum to his fight against Josh Koshcheck. Another win meant that Hendricks was on the edge of a championship but would need one more fighter under his belt to get there. This fighter would be Martin Kampmann. Kampmann has been around for a while in the UFC and has faced the best of the best in the division. A recent three fight win streak against some big names has put him in a position to earn a title shot. Both fighters are going into UFC 154 with a chance to fight for the title. All they need is to win and sit back to see who they will face in their next fight. Even before this top contender fight the Welterweight division could see a future challenger as Tom Lawlor and Francis Carmont face off in another welterweight fight. Both fighters are a few wins away from a title shot but could be on the path to a title shot if they can win in Montreal. More than the fight and who wins is the fact that the fans will see one of the most impressive young fighters in the division. Francis Carmont has been very impressive in his three fights in the UFC and this fight against Tom Lawlor will be another chance for him to impress. If Carmont can continue his impressive streak he could be the next star in the welterweight division although he will need a few more wins in on his record. Montreal will get to see their hero while also getting a glimpse to the next top contender and the possible future of the welterweight division. It will be a great night with some great fights that will bring some stability to the welterweight division that has been in the air for the better part of a year.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:

Georges “Rush” St. Pierre vs. Carlos “Natural Born Killer” Condit [Welterweight Title] (PPV)

 

Main Card:
Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann vs. Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks (PPV)

Francis “Limitless” Carmont vs. Tom “Filthy” Lawlor (PPV)

Nick “The Promise” Ring vs. Constantinos “Costa” Philippou (PPV)

Mark “The Machine” Hominick vs. Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza (PPV)

 

Undercard:
Patrick “The Predator” Cote vs. Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara (Sportsnet)

Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate vs. Chad “The Grave Digger” Griggs (Sportsnet)

Mark Bocek vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (Sportsnet)

Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout vs. John “The Bull” Makdessi (Sportsnet)

Antonio “Pato” Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm (Facebook)

Matthew Riddle vs. John Maguire (Facebook)

Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov (Facebook)

“Super” Steven Siler vs. Darren “The Damage” Elkins (Facebook)

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