The return of Georges St. Pierre comes at a great time for the UFC.
Fresh off event cancellations (per Sports Illustrated), steroid suspensions (per New York Post) and sub par replacements in main events, it's great to see one of the sport'strue stars return to face a really good opponent.
In other words, GSP to the rescue.
When the UFC Welterweight Champion takes on Carlos Condit on Nov. 17 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the entire MMA world will be watching.
No one in their right mind doubts the skill and ability of GSP, and Condit has proved he deserves a shot to remove the interim title from the beginning of his championship classification. Being the interim Welterweight Champion just means he's keeping the belt warm for GSP.
Condit wants to take full possession of the title.
As good as Condit is at 28-5, he still deals with critics and disrespect. He addressed the criticism and marijuana in MMA with Kimura:
It's going to be a great fight and by the time the event is over, the welterweight picture will be a lot clearer.
Recently, GSP did a spot on ESPN's E:60 program. He discussed his childhood, his training methods and his recovery from the torn ACL that has kept him out of action since April 2011 when he defeated Jake Shields.
Here's the video:
A potential superfight with Anderson Silva looms as an option for GSP—should he defeat Condit. Steve Marrocco of USA Today has reported that Dana White is already setting things in motion for the two greats to battle in the near future.
Silva may even show up for UFC 154 to cheer GSP to victory with hopes of taking him on afterwards. GSP told Marrocco:
"I don't care about Anderson Silva. He can do whatever he wants. He can go to Florida or stay in Brazil if he wants. I'm focused on Carlos Condit right now. That's all that matters to me."
GSP tweeted this quote from Sun Tzu on Nov. 9:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” -Sun Tzu— Georges St-Pierre(@GeorgesStPierre) November 9, 2012
Hopefully, the opponent he knows is Condit, and he doesn't get caught looking ahead to the Spider.
Besides the GSP-Condit main event, there are a few intriguing bouts on the UFC 154 card. Here's the latest on those bouts:
Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann vs. Johny "Big Rigg" Hendricks
I'm convinced Johny "Big Rigg" Hendricks has eight surgically implanted weights in his knuckles. This guy has some heavy hands.
He's a very good wrestler, but recently I've been impressed with his power. He stopped Jon Fitch and TJ Waldburger in the first round over the past 18 months, but perhaps even more impressive than those wins was his defeat of Josh Koscheck in May.
Koscheck is one tough cookie and a tremendous boxer, but Big Rigg fought off mono to win the fight by split decision, per Sherdog. I've never had mono, but I can only imagine that fighting a world class fighter while inflicted with it is fairly tough.
With that behind him, he readies for a tough challenge from Kampmann.
He tweeted that his camp was done training, but he sounds ready:
My camp is officially over. Just finished my last practice. I feel great & I'm ready for WAR! Many thanks to my team! twitter.com/JohnyHendricks…— Johny Hendricks (@JohnyHendricks) November 10, 2012
In a separate interview with Sherdog, Hendricks discussed his signature beard and why it won't be a presence much longer. He said:
"The goal is November 17. After November 17 it’s going to get shaved definitely because man, it’s been so hot down here. … The beard will definitely come off and I’ll be clean-shaved for at least a little bit."
Will Kampmann send Hendricks to a happy or sad grooming session?
The Hitman has been on the welterweight scene longer than Hendricks, and he feels as though this is his time. He makes that abundantly clear in the interview below:
There is no doubting Kampmann's striking and submission ability. Just as impressive as Kampmann's offense is his overall toughness. This dude has no quit in him, and he will battle tooth and nail to come out with a victory.
The winner of this fight deserves to fight for the welterweight title, no matter who has it.
"Limitless" Francis Carmont vs. "Filthy" Tom Lawlor
Carmont looks the part of a stud MMA fighter, but the beginning of his career rendered mixed results. He picked up seven defeats in his first 18 bouts, but has recently won seven in a row. That includes his last three fights in the UFC.
His opponent is a grimy, tough fighter, hence the nickname Filthy. Need more proof, his UFC bio states:
"I usually wake at the crack of dawn and drink 14 raw eggs, sometimes two entire chickens."
"My nights are spent throwing and punching people in the face at either Lauzon MMA/Team Aggression or Tri-Force MMA in Pawtucket, RI."
On that note, Filthy has become one of my favorite MMA fighters in the world.
He's only 8-4 in his MMA career, but he has shown some devastating power in the UFC. He earned the $40,000 bonus for his KO of the NIght over Jason McDonald at UFC on Fuel 3 in May. His post-fight interview was awesome.
I thought Michael Cole or Jerry Lawler were going to take over the interview, or Chris Jericho might come in for the ambush as he cut his promo. Love it or hate it, the sport needs personalities like this.
It's even better after they score such an impressive victory:
Judging by this tweet and attached picture, Filthy has picked up a new sponsor and haircut:
For the good of the sport, I'm hoping Filthy wins, but Carmont's three-inch height advantage could be an issue. That would seem to support the thought that he could take advantage of Lawlor in the stand-up game, but he certainly doesn't strike as well as Filthy.
Carmont's best attribute is his grappling and submissions. If he can make this a wrestling match, he'll have an edge, but don't be surprised to see Filthy take home another impressive KO victory.
Nick "The Promise" Ring vs. Constantinos "Costa" Philippou
Costa is the next great fighter at 185 pounds.
Were it not for an inadvertent eye-poke from Riki Fukuda, he would have stopped the tough Japanese fighter in July. If you've ever seen Fukuda fight, you know stopping him is no easy task.
As it was, Costa won by an easy unanimous decision.
At UFC 154 he'll be facing Nick Ring and quite honestly, he should smoke the Promise. I wasn't overly impressed with Ring against Court McGee. I felt that fight should have been a draw, and I watched him lose to Tim Boetsch in another less-than-impressive showing.
For what it's worth, he seems like a really nice guy. Besides his 13-1 record, he gained a touch of fame by breaking up a mugging in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (per Fox Sports). That's all well and good, but The Promise can't derail Costa's ascension to a title shot at 185 pounds.
Costa has tremendous striking ability and he is improving on the ground. This should be his coming-out party.
The other fights on the card are as follows:
Mark "The Machine" Hominick vs. "The Scarecrow" Pablo Garza
"The Predator" Patrick Cote vs. Alessio "Legionarius" Sakara
Cyrille "The Snake" Diabate vs. "The Grave Digger" Chad Griggs
Mark Bocek vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
Sam "Hands of Stone" Stout vs. John "The Bull" Makdessi
Antonio "Pato" Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm
Matthew Riddle vs. John Maguire
Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov
"Super" Steven Siler vs. Darren "The Damage" Elkins
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