Georges St-Pierre vs Carlos Condit: What We Learned About Condit
Carlos Condit forced GSP into the trenches last night. He may not have exited the octagon with the belt, but he proved to the world that he’s very capable of competing at the highest level of competition the sport has to offer.
Georges St. Pierre hasn’t tasted defeat in well over five years. Furthermore, he hasn’t even been close to losing his welterweight title since reclaiming gold in his rematch with Matt Serra at UFC 83. Josh Koscheck failed to put the man in any significant danger at UFC 124, Jake Shields didn’t manage much outside of a few damaging eye pokes at UFC 129, Thiago Alves came up short at UFC 100. The list goes on folks.
No one has managed to make GSP look remotely near human recently, except Carlos Condit, who came just a few punches away from shocking the world last night at UFC 154.
“The Natural Born Killer” dropped GSP in the third frame with a well-placed high kick. A slew of punches followed from the interim champion, but St-Pierre was savvy enough to thwart Condit’s offense and regain control of the fight.
The remainder of the title affair played out as most GSP collisions do: GSP, on top, mauling his foe. However, this specific title fight taught us an awful lot about Carlos Condit and the kind of fighter he truly is.
Condit’s Power Cannot Be Questioned
If for some reason you’re one of the many to still question the power of “The Natural Born Killer”, it’s time to put your theories to rest.
This man hits hard, and he can finish anyone with an exposed cranium.
Sure he failed to put GSP away last night after dropping him with a perfectly-timed high kick. But remember, we’re talking about the undisputed long-time champion here, not some scrub who took the title in a questionable decision or fluke stoppage.
Condit’s rattling of GSP’s brain only hammers home a nice reminder: Carlos Condit possesses significant power, the kind of power that ends fights in the blink of an eye.
If you’re one to call the man’s one-punch (or kick for that matter) power into question, you’re probably blinded was his unassuming lanky frame. This guy may be a bit on the thin side, but it hasn’t hindered his ability to deliver jarring shots.
Accept it as the truth, people.
The Most Impressive Hips at Welterweight
Yes, this slide title is meant to be a little suspect. I don’t actually care much about Carlos’ hips one way or the other, but his work on the mat is quite imposing.
The typical man finds himself trapped beneath St. Pierre eating a wealth of shots, completely incapable of any form of defensive maneuvering. Condit, however, showed the masses that even from the bottom, he’s a tricky guy who isn’t easy to bully.
Time and again GSP successfully passed Condit’s guard, and time and again Condit was able to shrimp with minimal effort, and trap the Canadian in the stalemate position. GSP managed to land some great shots, thanks in part to his willingness to chance the can opener repeatedly, but he was never remotely near putting Condit away. He simply could not advance his position enough to make that hypothetical a bona fide fact.
Had Condit’s defensive Jiu Jitsu been any weaker than it was, we may have seen a completely different fight last night. The GSP who entered the cage less than 24 hours ago looked like a bull in search of red, and I don’t pick all too many to survive that.
Condit’s hips saved him from outright domination last night. Until we see what kind of work Nick Diaz can do from the bottom against GSP, Condit should be considered the man with the “Most Impressive Hips”, at least at 170 pounds.
Yes, Carlos Can Take a Punch
Carlos’ ability to take a punch has been called into question too many times to count. Yes, he was floored by Jake Ellenberger, and yes, Rory MacDonald made the man look very susceptible to big punishment, but keep in mind that Carlos won both of those fights.
The man has a solid chin and terrific recovery, but if you doubted that for any reason, your doubts should have been quelled last night.
GSP ripped Condit with a handful of brutal flush punches to the chin. Condit didn’t buckle.
Jake Ellenberger may have made the man a permanent piece of his highlight reel, but that doesn’t change the fact that Carlos Condit can take a mean, mean punch.
The proof is in the pudding and we all swallowed it last night.
Wrestling, Still a Weakness for Condit
Heading into Saturday’s bout between long-time champion Georges St. Pierre and interim champ, Carlos Condit, the word floating about inner circles was that Condit had invested countless hours working to refine his defensive wrestling.
That work seems as though it was invested in vain.
GSP landed seven of eight takedown attempts and turned Condit into another hapless fish out of water. Defensively, Carlos’ wrestling looked light years from the best of the division.
If Carlos hopes to successfully regain his footing and put himself back into title contention, he’s got to work on the wrestling element of his game. If nothing else, some polished takedown defense will go a long way. With monster wrestlers like Josh Koscheck, Johny Hendricks and Mike Pierce in the division, the man is going to be forced to stop a whole lot of takedowns in the future.
The Big Stage is No Big Deal
Carlos Condit looked quite impressive during his run as WEC champion. But there’s a notable difference between headlining a WEC card in a title fight, and headlining a UFC card in a title fight. The stage simply does not get any bigger than this.
Heading into this bout, the most important of Condit’s career, many pundits raised questions about the man’s ability to perform at peak level against a beast as dangerous as GSP.
Condit passed any mental test anyone could have conceived.
Pressured, cut, down on the cards, Condit fought hard until the final bell sounded. Although he came up short in his bid for welterweight supremacy, he turned in a fantastic showing, and cemented the fact that he’s capable of keeping his cool and performing to the best of his abilities, even in the biggest fight imaginable.
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