UFC 154: Does Anyone Even Care That There Are Fights This Weekend?
Hey! Did you know that UFC 154 is this weekend? You know, Georges St-Pierre's return to the Octagon after over a year away from the cage? There's a welterweight title fight between St-Pierre and interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit in the main event? Nothing?
I actually kind of forgot as well. I mean, I knew that it was coming up but really couldn't remember if it was this or next weekend. I really can't be at fault, as there seems like there's zero buzz for St-Pierre's comeback fight against Condit.
It's been over a year since GSP has fought in the UFC. In that time, the welterweight division has been turned on its side with unexpected contenders coming into the fold and former challengers falling off the map.
In that time, Nick Diaz has all but disappeared. Sure, he failed his UFC 143 post-fight drug test and has been sidelined, but he's not even in the discussion. He's a non-entity at the moment. That dream fight against St-Pierre? It's on hold for at least a year.
Meanwhile, Johny Hendricks and Martin Kampmann have gone from journeymen to contenders. Hendricks has put together an impressive winning streak that includes scalps from Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck.
Kampmann? He was the very definition of gatekeeper. In his time in the welterweight division, he dropped decision after decision. It seemed he would forever be the proverbial "bridesmaid" instead of the "bride."
The two aforementioned fighters are squaring off in the co-main event—a co-main event that has flown so under the radar that I'm pretty sure no one has any idea there's a number one contender's bout happening before the main event.
And speaking of the main event, why isn't anyone talking about it? Why does it feel like no one is excited for GSP's return? 2012 has been the absolute worst year for the UFC. It seems like a new fighter injury is reported every day.
GSP is arguably the biggest name in the sport returning from an absolutely devastating injury that kept him sidelined for almost 18 months. If there was ever a time for people to get excited, this would be it.
It's just not the case.
Without meaning to sound too negative, this doesn't have that "big fight" feel you've come to expect with a St-Pierre fight. It in no way feels like UFC 148, when Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen clashed for the middleweight title.
According to Jeremy Botter, who is in Montreal covering the fights for Bleacher Report, the city is buzzing. That's great for the local crowd, but I just don't feel it here in Austin, Texas. I'd be worried if the Montreal crowd wasn't excited for the return of their local hero.
But that doesn't change the fact that there should be some concern as to why there seems to be a total lack of interest from everyone.
I hope that's not the case. I hope that fans are as excited about this fight as I imagine they should be. I expect that come Saturday night. But really, I'm prepared for the worst.
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