It is only fitting that at UFC 154, one of the most-anticipated UFC events of the year, features two of the most spectacular fights of the year.
More appropriately, one of the most spectacular finishes of the year and one of the most brutal championship matches in recent memory. But those were just two of the stories that had us talking after the show.
As we put a final bow on UFC 154, here are the biggest winners and stories from the huge card on Saturday night.
def. Carlos Condit via unanimous decision to become Undisputed Welterweight Champion
Before we get into St-Pierre, it is time to applaud Carlos Condit. He doesn't get the same attention as St-Pierre or Nick Diaz in the welterweight division, but there are very few in the sport who can do all the things he can.
That being said, St-Pierre got a hero's welcome upon returning to the octagon in his native Canada and did not disappoint. A 19-month layoff after tearing his ACL didn't slow St-Pierre down one bit.
It wasn't always easy. Certainly, that third-round knockdown from Condit was as close as we have seen St-Pierre to being finished in over five years. He held in there, welt on his head and all, to put on a fighting clinic.
Everything St-Pierre was doing worked. His punches were sharp and crisp, his takedowns were as good as they have ever been and his defense makes him an almost-impenetrable wall.
If there was ever any doubt about St-Pierre's standing coming into this fight, he answered any and all questions in resounding fashion. This was a huge statement from one of the best in the history of the business.
def. Martin Kampmann via first-round KO
The semi-main event of the show was over almost as soon as it started. Just like he did against Jon Fitch at UFC 141 last December, Hendricks destroyed Kampmann with a shot to the jaw 46 seconds into the fight that left him staring at the lights and wondering what hit him.
There was some talk before the pay-per-view that the winner of Hendricks-Kampmann would be in line for a title shot.
UFC president Dana White loves to see fighters who can make a loud statement in a huge bout before putting them in a big spot, particularly against a fighter who can draw as well as St-Pierre.
It is safe to say that Hendricks gave White exactly what he was looking for. We still don't know if this means Hendricks will get his title shot, but it is hard for a fighter to more than he has over the last year (5-0, 3 (T)KOs) to warrant it.
def. Azamat Gashimov via first-round submission (armbar)
A fight that went largely unnoticed because it was on Facebook, Ivan Menjivar certainly left the fans with something to remember. He did his best Ronda Rousey impression, catching Azamat Gashimov with an armbar early in the first round.
Like Rousey so often does when she locks in the move, Menjivar appeared to do serious damage to Gashimov's arm and shoulder. It earned Menjivar a Submission of the Night bonus.
It also got Menjivar back on track. He suffered his first loss under the UFC banner in July against Mike Easton. He is now 4-1 in UFC, with three of those wins coming via first-round knockout or submission.
Even if he doesn't emerge as a bantamweight title contender, which seems likely given his age (30) and standing in the company, it is time to move Menjivar off the Facebook card and at least onto the televised portion of the show.
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