Georges St-Pierre took a hard-fought decision over Carlos Condit in the main event of UFC 154 last night. It wasn’t easy, but GSP managed to overcome serious adversity en route to a lopsided judges’ nod.
After more than 18 months away from the cage, GSP tackled one of, if not the most difficult challenge of his 10-year career. Considering the fact that the longtime champion was looking to rebound from a potentially career-ending injury, I’d say he handled himself impressively.
The majority of the bout was spent on the mat, where St-Pierre utilized his profound strength advantage to keep Carlos Condit’s back glued to the canvas. But unlike some of GSP’s previous fights, the champ went all out to finish the fight, dropping a plethora of heavy elbows on the face of Condit, who was busted up early and bled frequently throughout the contest.
While on the feet, GSP remained one step ahead of Condit, peppering the challenger with crisp jabs, and dropping a handful of powerful right hands on the chin of the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts product.
St-Pierre looked nearly flawless in the stand-up exchanges, up until the third round arrived.
With plenty of time left on the clock, Condit caught the champion with his hands low. A respectable left high-kick caught the right temple of GSP flush, and down went the Canadian. Condit moved in for the kill, but ultimately failed to finish.
That’s right: GSP proved capable of overcoming adversity, something we simply haven’t seen from the champion.
The last time GSP was rocked significantly, he was put away with strikes. That loss came at the hands of Matt Serra, and while it looked as though Condit may create a contemporary replay for fans, GSP showed he’s got the heart and fight IQ to survive and return to domination.
Just moments after being dropped by the hellacious kick, GSP was back up, shooting a takedown and dragging Condit to the mat. Once he regained control of the bout, GSP never looked back.
The final two frames featured a swollen and bloodied St-Pierre controlling Carlos Condit, who himself sported a crimson mask courtesy of a powerful elbow delivered by the champ in the bout's earlier goings.
Condit cemented his stance as a dangerous, resilient foe. He refused to allow GSP the openings required to obtain a finish, and fought hard until the final bell sounded. It was, in truth, an insanely gutsy performance from both men.
On Saturday night, GSP let the world know that a torn anterior cruciate ligament would not be the end of his career. He also proved to the lingering naysayers that even when hurt, he is still in the fight. The man showed fans a little bit of everything at UFC 154, and if Carlos Condit was nothing more than a simple test, he passed with flying colors.
Submission Offense/Defense: B (this was obviously a defensive battle for the champion)
X-factors: B+ (time away from the cage and adversity stand at the X-factor forefront)
Overall Grade: B+ (for the record, only a finish could have yielded a higher grade)
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