St. Pierre set to face Condit at UFC 154
MONTREAL (AP) An 18-month-plus layoff. Reconstructive knee surgery. A poor showing last time out. And a very difficult opponent.
Georges St. Pierre enters his comeback fight Saturday night at UFC 154 against Carlos Condit surrounded by questions. Is the UFC welterweight champion ripe for the taking? Or does the Montreal MMA star have too many weapons for Condit?
``It's a very dangerous fight for Georges, a very, very dangerous fight,'' Montreal middleweight Patrick Cote said. ``But I think he's prepared.''
The oddsmakers agree, making St. Pierre (22-2) a 3-1 favorite.
``I do feel I'll be able to take him down,'' the 5-foot-11 St. Pierre said. ``I want to dictate the pace and make the fight, fighting my fight and do what I want to do,'' he added.
Condit (28-5) won the interim 170-pound title during St. Pierre's injury layoff, beating Nick Diaz in February. A 10-year pro, the 28-year-old from Albuquerque, N.M., is a former WEC champion who has won 13 of 14 fights since June 2006. He has never been knocked out and has only been stopped three times, all by submission.
``Definitely, he's a hard guy,'' said Martin Kampmann, who was the last person to beat Condit - in 2009. ``I don't think GSP's going to be able to finish him. I think (if) GSP wins it, it's going to be by decision, but I can definitely see Condit catching GSP with something and finishing the fight.''
Condit demonstrated resilience against Rory MacDonald, enduring a poor start to put away the young Canadian in the dying seconds. He showed his power against Dan Hardy and was opportunistic in finishing Dong Hung Kim.
Most recently, the American showed smarts and patience in using distance, kicks and a lot of strikes to blunt Diaz.
``A lot of people can punch and kick and wrestle and grapple and everything, but now I really feel like we're putting this into a comprehensive strategy and that's what's going to be needed to beat Georges,'' Condit said.
The 6-foot-2 fighter has finished 26 of his 28 wins - 13 by TKO and 13 by submission. He has gone the distance only five times in his career.
Condit's first 17 fights did not make it out of the first round - and Condit won 15 of them.
He was 15 when he got into the sport, finding a gym in the phonebook. He settled on a good one at Jackson's MMA under the tutelage of trainer Greg Jackson.
Jackson has stepped to the side for this fight because he also has ties with St. Pierre.