Tonight! Georges St-Pierre vs Carlos Condit!

GSP and Condit.

It’s been over 18 months since Georges St-Pierre last fought, think about that. Randy Couture, when he quit the UFC in 2007, was in a serious war of words and lawsuit with Zuffa, was gone less time between fights.

Then, when you add the fact that he was out due to an ACL injury, I think there should be some legitimate concern about how well he is actually going to perform on Saturday night. Sure, Adrian Peterson was able to overcome a torn ACL and MCL that he suffered at the end of 2011 to comeback and lead the NFL in rushing yards this season. But a super athlete like Peterson is the exception and not the rule. Will GSP be able to be an exception as well?

When St-Pierre was set to face Shields in Toronto, I predicted it would be an easy affair for the Canadian. I thought he would have his way with Shields, do anything he wanted to. Instead, he had the worst performance of his current title reign. Maybe he was too concerned with trying to recreate Henderson’s overhand right on Shields, maybe he packed on too much mass, maybe he was too self-conscious, whatever the case, it was a disappointing showing. Even before the eye poke, his performance was off. At the end of the fight, even though GSP clearly won, Fightmetric actually revealed that Shields had landed more strikes on GSP, which was eye opening.

Carlos Condit’s had a much discussed period while GSP’s been away. He destroy Dong-Hyun Kim, violently finished him off in one of the greatest flying knee finishes you’ll ever see. He then fought Nick Diaz in an interim title fight that was very much discussed online. I didn’t have an issue with Condit being awarded the fight, but it seemed a lot of people had their own take on the scoring. While it was not a bad fight, felt it was solid when viewed without expectations, it was something of a let down considering Condit and Diaz regularly have the most exciting fights in the division. Still, Condit almost always has great fights, so if he had to fight a conservative approach and do what he needed to win this one important fight against Diaz, I think that’s acceptable and it shouldn’t typecast him as a conservative fighter. His finishing rate is insane and he’ll probably be back to his violent self, since that’s what he needs to do against GSP. When he’s at his most violent (against Hardy, Kim, Miura, etc.), few bring the brute force as poetically as Condit.

So we’re left with a fight that was scheduled to happen in October 2011 (GSP got injured) and rescheduled again for early 2012 (but Condit was asked to step aside for GSP vs Diaz, then GSP got injured so we got Diaz vs Condit). Except now, it’s a bigger fight than it would have been then and I think Condit has a better chance now that he would have had then. If GSP still has the athleticism to change levels at the speed that he’s had before, surely he will put Condit on his back whenever he feels like it. But if it stays on its feet, Condit is a truly dangerous individual and if you’re a GSP fan, you should be hoping that the fight goes to the ground as soon as possible. What an exciting clash of elite welterweight fighters.


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