UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit will be airing live on PPV from the Centre Bell in Montreal, Quebec, Canada this Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.
The Nation went 2 of 5 in his last set of predictions, and is now 38 of 58 for the year. The Nation, unfortunately, was unable to post a preview and prediction for UFC 153, although unofficially, he would have been 5-1 had he done so.
Mark Hominick (20-11) vs. Pablo Garza (11-3): If this were wrestling, this would be a “Loser-Leaves-Town” match. It’s very rare for UFC to not cut a fighter after 3 losses in a row – and that’s what Garza is facing if he loses on Saturday. 4 losses in a row, however, is the closest thing to a guarantee of getting cut, and that’s the boat Hominick is on if Garza wins their matchup. It wasn’t that long ago that Hominick fought for the 145 lbs. title vs. Jose Aldo, Jr. He’s endured some trying personal times since then, with the death of friend and coach Shawn Tompkins. If he has a clear head, Hominick is a much more complete fighter than Garza and should win. Prediction: Hominick by submission
Nick Ring (13-1) vs. Costa Philippou (11-2-1 NC): I’m very undecided about this one. Both are roughly the same age and same record, although Ring has been fighting a lot longer than Philippou. Both have also faced the same level of competition recently, with just about the same result. I’m going to just guess here and say Philippou by decision. Prediction: Philippou by decision.
Francis Carmont (19-7) vs. Tom Lawlor (8-4-0-1): Carmont may have 7 losses, but he’s won 7 in a row and has not lost since 2008. He’s a big and tall middleweight, and I think he uses that to his advantage to bring the fight to the ground where I think he’ll have the advantage. If it’s any consolation, Lawlor is pretty much guaranteed to have the best ring entrance of the night though. Prediction: Carmont by submission
Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann (20-5) vs. Johny Hendricks (13-1): In theory, the winner of this match will face Carlos Condit if he wins his match in the main event of this card. Hendricks has been on a roll, beating two former number one contenders in Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch in his last 2 fights. Kampmann has won 3 in a row also, after losing his 2 previous fights before that to Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields (For what it’s worth, I think he beat both Sanchez and Shields, but the judges disagreed). Kampmann in his lasts 2 fights has made a bad habit of starting off slow and getting hurt bad early before pulling off last round finishes out of the blue. The Hitman needs to use his superior striking to keep Hendricks (a 2-time NCAA champion in wrestling) at bay. If it does go to the ground, I think Kampmann’s ground game is more well-rounded as well. Prediction: Kampmann by decision
For the UFC Welterweight Title – Champion: Georges “Rush” St.-Pierre (22-2) vs. Interim Champion: Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit (28-5): This is GSP’s first fight since April 2011, as injuries (including a torn ACL suffered late last year) has forced him to take some time off. In the meantime, Carlos Condit beat Nick Diaz in Feb. of this year for the Interim Welterweight title. Now, hometown boy GSP returns to action, not having lost since 2007. Condit, on the other hand, is 5-1 since UFC folded WEC under its wing. Condit was the WEC welterweight champion at the time, and he did not get an immediate title shot in spite of that. His first fight for the UFC was vs. Martin Kampmann and he lost a tough decision, one which a lot of observers thought he won. He’s reeled off 5 wins since then, earning a title shot the old fashioned way. Both fighters are Greg Jackson disciples, even though GSP trains mostly in Montreal at Tri-Star while Condit is a New Mexico resident like Jackson. For this fight, Jackson will corner or coach neither men. A pre-injury GSP was a takedown machine, even though his background is kyokushin kaikan (basically Karate). Condit meanwhile has a kickboxing and muay thai background – but he has a very well rounded game as well: Of his 28 wins, only 2 have gone to decision, with 13 ending via knockout and 13 ending via submission.
GSP has looked unbeatable since winning the 170 lbs. title for the 2nd time in 2007, but I think Condit wins this. The kid is dynamite standing up. He’s the only fighter who’s ever knocked out Dan Hardy and Kim Dong-Hyun, two guys who are not easy to finish via K.O. In fact, of Hardy’s 5 losses, only one has come via KO. Kim has lost twice in 20 fights – once by injury, the other the KO loss to Condit. Condit also KO’d Rory MacDonald (the next big thing at 170) for his only loss in 13 fights. By the time UFC 154 ends, the word “Interim” will be dropped from “Interim Champion” when The Natural Born Killer is introduced. Prediction: Condit by KO
Update on 11/17/12: The Ring-Philippou fight was cancelled today due to Ring contracting some sort of virus and not being cleared by the Quebec Athletic Commission to fight tonight. Marck Bocek vs. Rafael dos Anjos has been moved to the main card, but the Nation won’t be making a prediction on that one.