UFC 154: 5 Key Takeaways from the GSP-Condit Fight Card
The UFC returned to Montreal on Saturday night with a card that had its fair share of excitement, and was headlined by the return of the city’s prodigal son to his rightful place atop the welterweight division.
As with any event, there are lessons learned and things understood at the end of a fight card, for both fans and promotion alike.
There was plenty learned on at UFC 154, not the least of which included:
There Isn’t Enough Featherweight Talent to Cut Exciting Guys
The fight to open the pay-per-view was great fun, as scrappy veterans Mark Hominick and Pablo Garza went tit for tat on the way to a Garza decision win.
Going into the fight, both men were seen as being a loss away from the unemployment line despite being two of the more enjoyable guys to watch in the division.
Dana White was noncommittal to Hominick’s release when probed after the event, and he should be. In fact, he should be a hard ‘no’ on releasing The Machine just as he should have been out on releasing Garza with a loss.
145lbs is far too shallow and devoid of talent to cut upper-middle class citizens who reside there. Guys like Hominick and Garza proved that at UFC 154.
Rafael Dos Anjos Is Improved, but You’d Never Know It Fighting Mark Bocek
dos Anjos is a guy that seems to be upwardly mobile at 155lbs, but it’s hard to look good against a plodding, gritty guy like Bocek. The fight was an absolute snorer, one that was clearly going the distance from about the four-minute mark of the first round.
The UFC needs to book dos Anjos against an exciting name opponent in hopes of him showing what he can do. Clay Guida would have been the perfect guy if he wasn’t dropping to featherweight, and if Gray Maynard could have held out a couple of weeks to get hurt, dos Anjos would have been an excellent replacement against Joe Lauzon.
He’ll have to sit and wait for a bit, but the UFC needs to get him a more interesting opponent next time out.
Tom Lawlor Was Robbed
He wasn’t exciting, but he was robbed.
Lawlor did a great job against a hulking Francis Carmont, breaking even in striking exchanges and coming out ahead on the grappling end. Somehow though, the judges saw fit to award Carmont a decision for feinting and measuring distance by floating his lead hand out in Lawlor’s vicinity.
You don’t get hyped up for boring robberies, but they’re robberies nonetheless. Lawlor deserved better.
Johny Hendricks Is Legit
People don’t put Martin Kampmann away. That’s, like, his thing.
The Unsinkable Martin Kampmann.
No one told Hendricks though.
It took him less than a minute, hardly enough time to get a good sweat caked into his beard, to starch the Danish striker and get his name into title talks.
With elite wrestling and the type of one-punch, serious knockout power that only a handful of guys in MMA can lay claim to, Hendricks is a serious threat at 170lbs. No one—GSP included—should look forward to a fight with him.
Georges St-Pierre Is (Mostly) Back
Georges St-Pierre has long been patted on the back for his capacity to win fights and do so easily, but he’s also been chastised for doing it all in pretty mundane, risk-averse fashion.
UFC 154 was about as close to a statement as you’re going to get from him at this point.
He didn’t compete against Carlos Condit, he fought Carlos Condit.
They went pillar to post in the octagon, both leaving for the post-fight press conference looking like they walked out of a car wreck.
Bloody and battered, at one point in serious trouble, and still a champion for it all, GSP proved that his talk wasn’t just pre-fight hype. He said he was hungry and wanted to show the world what he could still do, and he did just that.
For the first time in a long time, fans are very much interested in seeing him get back in the cage and ply his trade.