UFC Looking at St-Pierre vs. Condit and Hendricks vs. Kampmann for UFC 154
The UFC’s welterweight division seems to be in some disarray at the moment.
Champion Georges St-Pierre has not fought since defeating Jake Shields in April of 2011, and his expected return to the Octagon is somewhat up in the air. Meanwhile, interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit, if you listen to all the noise coming from around the MMA world, is refusing to fight anyone but St-Pierre. And while this is going on, the queue of top contenders continues to lengthen.
Following UFC on FX 3, some of the waters that the 170-pound division has become mired in became a little clearer.
First, according to the man holding the interim title, he is not sitting idly by and just waiting for St-Pierre to heal up. He’s doing what his UFC bosses have asked of him. Condit spoke on Fuel TV following Friday night’s fights:
I don’t make the matches. If UFC wanted me to fight somebody else, they’re the boss, they can ask me to fight and I would be up for it. They want me to fight Georges St-Pierre, and that’s who I want to fight as well, so that’s what I’m going to go with.
St-Pierre was originally injured while training for UFC 137, forcing him from that card. The welterweight champ was then booked to face Nick Diaz at UFC 143. But while training for that fight, he injured his ACL—an injury that required surgery.
The injury resulted in the UFC offering Condit that February 2012 fight to determine who would claim the interim crown while St-Pierre tended to his post-surgery recovery.
Condit, known for his willingness to exchange, threw Diaz a curve in that bout, refusing to get involved in a stand-up brawl with the former Strikeforce champion. Condit stuck to that game plan, walking out of the Mandalay Bay Events Center with the interim title strapped around his waist.
After Condit took the title, two top contenders emerged. First, Johny Hendricks advanced his record to 13-1 with a split-decision victory over Josh Koscheck in May. Then, Martin Kampmann stopped the surging Jake Ellenberger via second-round TKO in early June. The two victories put those two in the proverbial mix for title shot contention.
On Friday, UFC president Dana White gave some indication as to what exactly the UFC is planning for the top of the welterweight division. After UFC on FX 3, White revealed to MMAJunkie.com that the plan is to have St-Pierre and Condit fight to decide the undisputed welterweight champion on November 17 at the Bell Center in Montreal.
White also revealed that the intent was to have Hendricks and Kampmann meet on that card as well.
While none of this is set in stone, it does at least clue fight fans in on the UFC’s plan. The question it does not answer, though, is the big “what if.” What if St-Pierre is not ready for the UFC 154 fight card? Will Condit sit idle, or will he face Kampmann or Hendricks. If so, which one will he face?
As with most things in life, if you wanted this all tied up in a bow and looking pretty, you’re not going to get it. With that being said, we should all be happy that we at least got something.
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