After 19 months away from the octagon, Georges St-Pierre makes his much-anticipated return at UFC 154 in a match with Carlos Condit to determine who is the undisputed welterweight champion.
St-Pierre and Condit's journey to this moment has been long and quite strange, almost like something out of an M. Night Shyamalan movie because of all the twists and turns.
But all that is in the past. St-Pierre and Condit have been building to this moment ever since Condit defeated Nick Diaz in February to win the interim welterweight championship. All that is left is deciding who is the better man.
Where: Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
When: Saturday, November 17
Watch: Main Card Fights start at 10:00 p.m. ET on Pay-Per-View; Preliminary Card Fights start at 8:00 p.m. ET on FX at 8:00 p.m. ET; Facebook Preliminary Fights start at 6:00 p.m. ET
|MAIN CARD FIGHTS|
|Welterweight Championship: Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit|
|Welterweight Bout: Martin Kampmann vs. Johny Hendricks|
|Middleweight Bout: Francis Carmont vs. Tom Lawlor|
|Middleweight Bout: Nick Ring vs. Costa Philippou|
|Featherweight Bout: Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza|
|FX PRELIMINARY FIGHTS|
|Middleweight Bout: Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara|
|Light Heavyweight Bout: Cyrille Diabate vs. Chad Griggs|
|Lightweight Bout: Mark Bocek vs. Rafael dos Anjos|
|Lightweight Bout: Sam Stout vs. John Makdessi|
|FACEBOOK PRELIMINARY FIGHTS|
|Featherweight Bout: Antonio Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm|
|Welterweight Bout: Matthew Riddle vs. John Maguire|
|Bantamweight Bout: Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov|
|Featherweight Bout: Steven Siler vs. Darren Elkins|
St-Pierre's Keys to Victory
Don't try to make a statement early; Control the ground and get the mount
Even for an athlete as disciplined as St-Pierre, there could be a temptation to come storming out of the gate and prove that the injury that kept him on the shelf for so long is very much a thing of the past.
Condit has the speed, power and movement to make St-Pierre pay if he gets sloppy, so it is imperative that St-Pierre doesn't try to show the world that he is still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport right away.
St-Pierre's biggest asset is his ability to adjust on the fly. He can let Condit show him what kind of fight this is going to be, then fight that way and make it work for him.
Condit's Keys to Victory
Test St-Pierre's stamina; Make like a chameleon
We have no idea what kind of fighting shape St-Pierre will be in for this fight. It is easy to say he will be at the same level he was when he last fought, but 19 months away can wreak havoc on stamina and conditioning in the cage.
Condit needs to keep this fight moving along at a fast pace to make St-Pierre prove he can handle a five-round fight.
In addition to the pace, Condit is good at mixing styles. He can stand up or work on the ground. St-Pierre is at his best when an opponent tries to work a singular style to beat him, so it is on Condit to keep changing the way he attacks and keep St-Pierre off guard.
What They Are Saying
While most fighters would be thrilled for the opportunity to hold a title, even if it has the dreaded "interim" tag attached to it, Carlos Condit had some interesting things to say about the welterweight championship that both he and St-Pierre currently hold.
Via Yahoo Sports:
This is Georges' title. He's the undisputed champion, no doubt about it. Georges has been so dominant for so long. To be the champion, you have to do one thing: You have to beat Georges St-Pierre. I haven't done that yet.
Give Condit credit for not sugarcoating how he feels. St-Pierre, as long as he is healthy, has earned that level of respect inside the octagon.
Condit is not a joke, though. This fight is the greatest test that St-Pierre has had since going on this five-year run of domination.
Undercard Fight To Watch: Mark Bocek vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Admittedly, I am a sucker for fights between submission specialists. Bocek used to be one of the better submission artists in UFC, scoring three straight from 2008-09, but as the competition has gotten better, his style isn't working that well and he is settling for decisions.
Dos Anjos has had four of his last six fights stopped, either via submission or knockout. He won four of those bouts, including two by submission.
This fight could easily turn into a dud as Bocek and dos Anjos jockey for position on the ground or in the clinch, but it could also feature one of the best submissions of the night.
Main Event Prediction
St-Pierre vs. Condit is one of the most difficult main events to offer a prediction on because they are a lot closer than fans might realize, and a Condit win would not be a shocker.
However, St-Pierre has reached that Anderson Silva territory though, where you have to see them lose in order to believe it will happen.
St-Pierre wins via split decision