UFC 154: How Can GSP and Condit Better Sell Their Fight?
UFC 153 took place last night from Rio with Anderson Silva taking out Stephan Bonnar with stellar defense against the cage and his trademark stalking knee to the chest being the telling blow in the end.
The event gave fans another glimpse of the very best fighter in the world strutting his stuff with incredible ease.
A month from now, at UFC 154, fans will see the return of another fighter in the mix to go down as the greatest of all time, Georges St-Pierre. St-Pierre will return to the cage in Montreal, against Carlos Condit, the man who held the title why he was away rehabbing a knee injury.
The return of St-Pierre after over a year away from the sport would usually be enough to sell out the Bell Center, and a match to unify the title is the icing on the cake.
Both fighters have been extremely respectful towards each other leading up to the fight, conducting themselves in the true spirit of the martial way with St-Pierre even going as far as to say that he considers Condit the real champion and he has a shot at the title on November 17.
I am a bit old school and love when the fighters show a respect and fear towards the other fighter; a title fight between two elite mixed martial artists like this sells itself with status, skill and equally impressive resumes.
GSP is one of the UFC's biggest pay per view draws as it is, but in this new era of Twitter, trash talk and self-promotion, how can he and Condit better sell their fight?
Are GSP and Condit being too respectful to each other?
St-Pierre is a longtime training partner and friend of MacDonald's, and Condit beat up a green MacDonald for a win in June 2010. GSP could sell this as a revenge beating in the making with him being the Tristar big dog sent in to do the job. It is a classic angle taken from the traditional martial arts movie,
"You defeated my brother, now I will make you pay!"
Condit could just simply turn it around and say that he already beat one of Tristar's best in MacDonald, and that he doesn't see a rusty GSP as being much of a better fighter. He is set to take out and have wins against the two best of a very overrated gym.
"I'm the Real Champ!"
Both these men have taken the high road in this angle with Condit saying GSP is the real champion and he needs to beat him to get the real belt. He is absolutely speaking the truth as I see it, but he could easily say the other and juice up this rivalry.
Throwing question to the legitimacy of GSP's current status is something that would get Condit ridiculed across North America and the world, but it would make more people want to see him get beat up.
St-Pierre has been his humble self throughout the lead up to this fight, and he is coming off a long layoff so I'm sure his mind may be filled with some doubt. He had the "interim" card to play on Condit, but he chose to not forcefully use it.
Declaring that he is the real champ and Condit is keeping his belt warm for him, while predictable would smell of arrogance and trigger more people to want to see him fall.
Call Each Other Forrest Gump
Many people took issue with the style and way that Condit beat Nick Diaz to get his interim title. Condit stayed at a distance and used footwork and points to stay out of the brawl that would have helped Diaz win. It wasn't quite as blatant and bad as what Clay Guida did against Gray Maynard, but it wasn't the fearless Condit we were used to seeing.
All GSP has to say is that he thinks that Condit was a bit scared (homie) of Diaz and that he ran a lot throughout that fight to get a war of words going. Condit would surely retort that GSP calling anyone a "safe" fighter is the pot calling the kettle black.
This title fight and St-Pierre's return in Montreal will be enough to sell out this event at the gate, but any one of these angles and tactics would ensure that it is an undisputed hit throughout the world on pay-per-view.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report UFC and regular guest blogger on Sportsnet.ca UFC.
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