UFC 154: Keys to Victory for Carlos Condit
So, you’ve got to fight the greatest welterweight in the history of the universe on a Saturday night in his hometown.
He’s hungry, been away for well over a year and he seems to see you as the champion instead of seeing himself in that light.
All you’ve got is your own skill and cunning, and a belt that stands to show you’re the second-best guy in the world. That is, the best guy when the real best guy isn’t around.
Concede the Takedown
This one is bound to be controversial, but there’s a lot to be said for Condit conceding takedowns against St-Pierre. Scrambling a bit, making him work and then willingly going to his back might be the best way to win a ground fight, given the tools at his disposal.
Condit is known for aggression off his back, while St-Pierre is known for putting guys wherever he wants to in the cage. Condit won’t be able to fully defend the takedowns, so he might as well let the fight go somewhere in the cage where he can win instead of contesting it somewhere in between.
On the feet, Condit can win. Despite GSP’s stellar submission defense, he can win off his back as well.
Where Condit can’t win is with St-Pierre in on his legs, ragdolling him and slamming him around with repeated power doubles.
If Condit finds that he can’t make his man work adequately for a takedown—work enough to maybe give that knee some aches and pains—he’s better off going to his back and looking for a submission.
There’s probably no good way to fight Georges St-Pierre, but this might be the best way to do it when everything is factored in.
Test That Knee
GSP has been on the sidelines for a year-and-a-half, and most of that was due to rehabbing a torn ACL.
Like it or not, that’s something that Condit needs to test out as much as possible. Leg kicks are the obvious choice, but checking and switching stances will probably be enough to deflect such pressure on St-Pierre’s end.
More creative methods to be employed may come on the grappling end, where creating scrambles off takedowns in open space would put pressure on GSP’s knee, as would making him work hard in clinches against the cage.
ACL injuries are often wear-and-tear injuries, punctuated by a single traumatic event. There is nothing that provides more wear-and-tear in martial arts than the constant grind of hard wrestling and scrambly grappling. Condit would be wise to keep this in mind.
Make His Chances Count
If there’s one thing Carlos Condit has going for him, it’s his utterly ruthless approach to the game.
In 28 career wins, only Nick Diaz and Jake Ellenberger have survived a Condit onslaught long enough to lose at the hands of the judges.
That makes him an interesting challenge for St-Pierre, who certainly isn’t afraid of a scorecard.
Condit won’t get dozens of chances to clip GSP, who will more than likely try to avoid standing up with the crafty New Mexican, but he needs to make hay while the sun is shining.
He’ll need to score big shots on his feet in hopes of swelling up the champion or catching him, because pitter-patter combos and cute movement will result in him on his back watching the clock tick away in St-Pierre’s favour.
Fight the Smart Fight
This might be the biggest thing Condit has to do to dethrone the true king St-Pierre.
He caught a bunch of hate for doing it against Nick Diaz to become interim champion, but the fact is, Diaz is basically unfinishable. Being smart enough to know that winning on points was the only way to win deserved far more praise than it got.
This time out, it’s not quite the same, as a smart fight doesn’t equate to an elusive fight. Condit needs to know when it’s time to make space, when it’s time to pull the chute and when it’s time to attack.
St-Pierre isn’t invincible—he doesn’t like getting hit and he doesn’t like the feeling of being hurt. He is, however, exceptional at dictating the pace and nature of a fight.
If Condit can live with that and survive it, and then find ways to strike with the appropriate fury on the way to making the most of his opportunities, he can upset GSP.
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