UFC 154 ‘ST. PIERRE VS. CONDIT’ PICKS
Finally, we are about to witness the return of one of the most dominate MMA fighters in UFC history. GSP steps into the cage against interim champion Carlos Condit after reconstructive knee surgery. We love this card from top to bottom. It is packed full of talent, both young and old, and important match ups. While personally, we will be dissecting each match up from Facebook fights to the main card, we will only talk about the paper-view here. Let’s get started shall we.
PABLO GARZA +230 vs. MARK HOMINICK -290
Riot: Talk about a must win fight for both guys. Hominick looked good vs Aldo in a losing effort, but then really sloppy in his past two fights, both losses, most UFC fighters do not make it out of an 0-4 stretch. Garza is in an 0-2 stretch so the loser of this fight will definitely be wondering about their job security after tonight. That being said, I like Hominick. I do not like him a lot, but it is his fight to lose. Garza does not possess the takedown ability to take down Hominick with ease, so I think this fight stays standing. I think Hominick will play it safe and walk away with a decision.
Blake: Classic up and comer against old vet. Hominick is somewhat of a legend in the sport. He’s easily on paper one of the best kick boxers in the division. He’s fast, has great technique, and his work ethic and heart is second to none. Sadly he has not been the same since his friend and trainer Shawn Tompkins died. It’s been a very rocky road back for him and his whole team. Garza has been making a name for himself as one of the most exciting people at feather weight. He has highlight reel finishes that span from a flying knee KO to a flying triangle. This is a huge step up in competition for Garza. I expect him to have the advantage in the grappling department, which history will show is Mark’s Achilles heel. Though despite all his hardships, and my better judgment, I can’t bet against Hominick. Hominick by TKO.
NICK RING +205 vs. CONSTANTINOS PHILIPPOU -255
Riot: Nick Ring is one of my favorite UFC fighters, not because of what he has done in the cage, but because I find this YouTube video hilarious.
As funny as that video is, and quite catchy, it will not help Nick Ring in the cage. Nick Ring has been the receiver of controversial decisions in his favor, but I think that this fight will be about as lopsided as you can get. I think Ring can make it all three rounds, but at some point, probably about the beginning of the third, he is going to make a conscious decision to just make it through the fight without getting finished. I like Philippou with quick striking and great takedown defense. Philippou by decision.
Blake: Many of you will remember Nick Ring most for his time on TUF season 11. I was a big fan of his on the show but I honestly don’t feel like he’s done much in his time with the UFC. However his last fight with Court Mcgee showed that he can definitely hold his own at 185. Costa on the other hand started his career under the Zuffa ban pretty shaky. He tried out for TUF 11 actually buy lost by submission and didn’t make it into the house. Then was brought on short notice for his next to fights. Ever since he’s been making a big splash. His last to fights were against mutual opponents of Nick Ring. Now I’m not a big fan of MMAth but Costa looked much more impressive in his wins. If this one goes to the ground Nick should have a decisive advantage but both men have pretty good take down defense. I feel like the power, pressure, and boxing of Philippou will end up being too much for Ring. Philippou by Unanimous Decision.
TOM LAWLOR +210 vs. FRANCIS CARMONT -260
Riot: Tom Lawlor is another one of my favorite fighters, simply because he takes his training serious, but that’s pretty much it. He has a great easy go attitude that is refreshing in this sport. That being said, this is a REALLY tough fight for him. I know one of these favorites is going to lose, but I just cannot make a case for them right now. Tom is going to need to catch Francis and drop him in order to win. Francis has good wrestling and great submissions… Tom struggles against submissions… I cannot make a case for Lawlor using logic. Carmont by submission.
Blake: Lawlor has been around the UFC for quite some time. He’s been something like the brand’s official class clown. He however is not all jokes. He is quite a good wrestler and has shown a decent submission game. His last fight was 50 second knock out where he displayed his developed striking game. Carmont is one of GSP’s training partners. He’s definitely the more well rounded fighter and honestly probably better everywhere individually. I expect this fight to be a barn burner. Sad to say but I’m going with Carmont by Unanimous Decision.
MARTIN KAMPMANN +120 vs. JOHNY HENDRICKS -150
Riot: Kampmann is very good fighter. He has great striking and sneaky submissions, topped off with really good takedown defense. That being said, Johny Hendricks is the future. He has an amazing wrestling background and his striking is improving every fight. Perhaps he is due for a flash of imperfection, like he did against story, but I don’t think so. I think he takes this fight to the ground, and dominates Kampmann. If Kampmann focuses on trying to go for submissions and not improving position, this could be a long night for him. Hendricks by TKO!
Blake: I cannot explain to you how much I love this fight. Hendricks is quite possibly the best pure wrestler in the division. He also showed his power in his fight against Jon Fitch. Together these two have cleaned out the top of the division. Guys like: Rick Story, Jake Ellenberger, Mike Pierce, Jon Fitch, and Thiago Alves. Kampmann has always had a problem taking damage on the fence. Demonstrated best by the Marquardt and Daley fights. I have always imagined this to be his downfall. This is Hendricks’ best plan. Push him up against the cage and do lots of damage. Out in the open or even on the ground Kampmann should have the huge advantage. I want to say Hendricks will take it but I bet against Kampmann in the Alves and Ellenberger fights. Even though he was losing both fights he manages to find a way to win big. Kampmann, 29-28.
UFC Welterweight Championship
CARLOS CONDIT +275 vs. GEORGES ST PIERRE -345
Riot: GSP earned his nickname “Rush” because of how quickly he finished his opponents when he first emerged into the sport. After a KO loss to Matt Serra, he changed his style of fighting to a much safer, slow and steady, lay and pray type. The last time I was greatly impressed with GSP was dominate win over BJ Penn. Since that fight, GSP has been slowly losing his unstoppable aura. GSP has been relying less and less on his explosive striking, and more and more on his wrestling and takedowns. I cannot imagine that he can go 5 rounds of takedowns vs somebody with decent takedown defense like Condit. Not after that reconstructive knee surgery anyway. Sad day, but I believe this is the beginning of the end for GSP. Condit by KO/TKO.
Blake: Is there a fight fan on the planet that isn’t excited for this fight? Despite Condit’s last performance the man is by far one of the most exciting fighters or all time. Georges is undoubtedly one of the most dominant fighters. They are two of the top kick boxers in the sport, both have excellent ground games, and they both have serious cardio. The difference is GSP is coming off a very long layoff. All the pressure is on him to perform. The fight is in his hometown and he has to prove he’s still the unkillable machine that annihilated the competition. Condit is looking great in all the interviews. He is mentally prepared for this fight. He’s also put on some mass which will help add some more power and combat some of St. Pierre’s strength advantage. The other big determining factor is what makes GSP the best. Yes he’s great MMA wrestler but his percentages aren’t so high because he’s that good at one discipline. He mixes things up better than anyone and fights at a range that most people can’t comprehend. He keeps you guessing the whole time. While Condit seems to be “more prepared” how can you put money on anyone but Georges? Also the way Rory was taking him apart only adds to the argument. GSP by Unanimous Decision.
Feel free to let us know who you think will win!