Georges St-Pierre is back as the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to his native Montreal for UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit this Saturday at the Bell Centre.
After spending the better part of two years nursing a knee injury and watching from the sidelines, St-Pierre returns to defend his coveted welterweight crown against interim champion Carlos Condit. UFC 154 St. Pierre vs Condit Live Stream
Meanwhile, red-hot title contenders Johny Hendricks and Martin Kampmann set out to prove why they deserve the next crack at 170-pound gold.
Here’s a closer look at UFC 154 St. Pierre vs Condit.
Main Card (PPV):
Georges St-Pierre (22-2) vs. Carlos Condit (28-5)
An undisputed UFC welterweight champion will be crowned Saturday as the French-Canadian phenom makes his long awaited return to the Octagon against the interim beltholder Condit.
St-Pierre, 31, has distinguished himself from the pack as the most accomplished welterweight in the history of the sport, cementing himself among the most successful pound-for-pound greats of all time.
A black belt in Kyokushin karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the Tristar Gym product has avenged his only two professional setbacks against Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, while compiling wins over a who’s who of top contenders, including Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck, Thiago Alves, B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch. UFC 154 St. Pierre vs Condit Live Stream
The three-time “Canadian Athlete of the Year” is riding a string of four consecutive decision wins, leading to some criticism of his style and inability to finish opponents. However, St-Pierre has turned in immaculate efforts against a multitude of styles and game plans, falling back on an extensive wrestling pedigree to secure takedowns, often at will. UFC 154 St. Pierre vs Condit Live Stream
St-Pierre holds the record for most takedowns landed in UFC history with 68, but his striking and submissions are too often overlooked. St-Pierre has landed a UFC record-high 977 significant strikes throughout his career with an outstanding accuracy of 53.4%.
The Quebec native also keeps busy on the canvas with 22 career submission attempts, fifth most in UFC history and second most in the welterweight division.
Formerly cornered by Greg Jackson, the acclaimed New Mexico-based coach has opted not to corner either protégé at UFC 154, avoiding another bitter falling out like he had with former pupil Rashad Evans. UFC 154 St. Pierre vs Condit Live Stream
St-Pierre’s extensive skills are well-documented, but it remains to be seen how he rebounds from a severely injured ACL and a year-and-a-half on the shelf. In terms of overall weapons, Condit could very well be St-Pierre’s toughest opponent to date.
Undefeated in title fights, Condit is a proven finisher with 26 wins by knockout or submission in 28 triumphant performances. A finishing ratio of 93% is highly impressive in such a competitive division.
The longtime Jackson pupil has spent the majority of his camp training under striking guru Mike Winkeljohn, refining an already dangerous muay thai base. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, Condit actively pursues submissions off his back, a position he should be well acquainted with as he prepares to fight St-Pierre. UFC 154 St. Pierre vs Condit Live Stream
The former WEC welterweight champion dropped a razor-thin split decision to Martin Kampmann in his April 2009 UFC debut, but he won his next five fights, including highly impressive knockouts of Jason MacDonald, Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim.
Condit will give the champion fits in all positions as his strikes can finish fights in an instant, while his submission attempts will threaten St-Pierre on the mat.
St-Pierre has never been comfortable eating big shots as he’s often reminded about tapping out to a flurry from Serra in April 2007, while Condit possesses a granite chin and an aggressive offensive style.
It will undoubtedly be the stiffest test for St-Pierre in years. With many fans and even UFC president Dana White already jumping the gun and predicting a superfight between St-Pierre and Anderson Silva, the returning Montreal resident remains humble as he refers to Condit as the true champion. UFC 154 St. Pierre vs Condit Live Stream
If St-Pierre hasn’t lost a beat, his speed and strength should be apparent assets in this fight. By closing the distance and planting Condit on his back, St-Pierre will score crucial points with the judges, earning a hard-fought decision after five of the toughest rounds of his career.
In triumph, St-Pierre can begin to consider the prospect of a superfight with the middleweight champion Silva, a tantalizing clash that would undoubtedly establish one of the two stars as the sport’s true pound-for-pound king. UFC 154 St. Pierre vs Condit Live Stream