UFC 143 Predictions: The Winner of Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit Will Beat GSP
Dana White tweeted that UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has blown out his ACL and will be out for 10 months, which means his shot at vengeance against Nick Diaz will not happen at UFC 143.
In place of GSP is the man that temporarily replaced Diaz in the UFC 137 main event, Carlos Condit. It has been confirmed by White himself that the winner will be named the interim UFC welterweight champion and will hold that distinction until another challenger has risen or until GSP has healed.
Some are optimistic about GSP's recovery and hope that vacating the title will not have to be an option. Indeed, nobody is alone in hoping that the current champion is able to defend the belt in 10 month's time.
However, let the overwhelming majority recognize that regardless of whether "The Natural Born Killer" beats Diaz or whether Stockton's resident bad boy defeats Condit, GSP will not prevail over the man who walks out with the "fill-in" version of the UFC welterweight crown.
At least when Diaz initially accused St-Pierre of ducking him, there was a possibility of GSP actually beating Diaz just as there was a possibility of GSP beating Condit when that fight was signed. However, with a blown ACL, that changes the game.
It's not difficult to understand why Diaz and Condit were stylistically bad opponents for St-Pierre from the onset. Both fighters' respective blends of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and striking were seen as styles that, on paper, would force GSP to strike with two very dangerous fighters who are not afraid to bang.
However, with a blown ACL, how can St-Pierre maintain his explosiveness and mount the very offense that many feel could "easily" shut down both Condit and Diaz?
Who will end 2012 as UFC Welterweight Champion?
Simply put, it's possible, but it's not worth trusting odds which may somehow still favor the champ.
St-Pierre is a classy fighter outside the cage, and a fighter that refuses to make a whole lot of excuses inside of it. However, with him being out for 10 months, it's not that easy to see him using any footwork or working any angles in order to render either man's striking obsolete before a takedown. Finding a way to implement his wrestling in a way that neutralizes both the striking and Jiu-Jitsu games is what GSP needs to do if he should face either Diaz or Condit.
If GSP is able to do that when he returns, and if he's able to do it in a way that forces both men to get a touch reckless, it will mark a successful comeback.
But what about that blown ACL?
What's stopping us from thinking St-Pierre will not look significantly slower than before or more apprehensive than before, knowing that one wrong move might force him to blow his knee or his ACL out in the cage and lose the belt on an early TKO by injury?
If there's any reason to think that GSP will look better than he has looked in any of his most recent title fights, then maybe I'm just being a pessimist. However, the concerns are justified as ACL injuries are not the same as sprained ankles or bruised shins.
Not even the great Georges St-Pierre will have an easy time coming back from an injury like this, so the cards find themselves more in the favor of the eventual challenger now than ever before.
GSP will go down as a future Hall of Famer and one of the sport's most dominant Welterweight Champions. However, after UFC 143, the better question to ask is now no longer whether or not the winner can beat St-Pierre.
The better question to ask is how long can St-Pierre last against the winner before they bring his inevitable doom?
If not for the blown ACL, I might be asking a different question. However, with something as serious as that, it's a million-dollar question of whether St-Pierre really can hope for anything close to a victory, whether he faces Diaz or Condit.
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