GSP v. Carlos Condit
On November 17th Georges 'Rush' St. Pierre will enter the ring for the first time in 18 months to take on a deserving interim champ, Carlos 'The Natural Born Killer' Condit. The welterweight division is stacked, and Condit earned the interim belt by defeating Nick Diaz in a bout that was controversial to some only because Condit didn’t stand in front of Diaz, but chose to move, circling and angling and outpointing Diaz in a unanimous decision.
Few give Condit much chance in this fight. Both men fight under Greg Jackson, who’ll be absent from either corner as prescribed by his own rules. GSP will have considerable ring rust, despite being #2 pound for pound for years. The Montreal native claims his injury rebooted him, however, injected him with energy he didn’t know he’d lost.
Condit is a crafty fighter, hard to nail down, with very good stand up, but he’ll need a ring-rusty GSP to out strike the former champion. Although GSP is known for being the best applied wrester in MMA, he owned stellar boxer BJ Penn on the feet in their last bout, in 2009, and punched the face off of an outclassed American Kickboxing Academy member Josh Koscheck in a 2010 bout I could watch over and over for weeks on end.
What most fans want is a GSP who can finish fights. After his KO loss to Matt Sera 4 years ago, GSP has fought to not lose, and has stopped only Penn since then. Look for Condit to fight like he has nothing to lose while knowing he probably will. He will. Lose that is, via TKO in the 4th.
Anderson 'The Spider' Silva out till late 2013
The pound for pound greatest mixed martial artist in the world has been pining for a GSP fight for some time, and will be cage side for the welterweight title fight this weekend, some say to call out a victorious GSP. Silva has obliterated his middleweight division as well as every light heavyweight he’s fought. But GSP holds another kind of challenge for Silva.
Dan Henderson and especially Chael Sonnen proved Anderson Silva can be taken down and kept there long enough. Although Silva had an injured rib in his first fight with Sonnen, the American proved The Spider can be grinded down repeatedly even by someone who is an iffy striker at best. GSP is a better applied wrestler than Henderson or Sonnen, and won’t be submitted like they both were. Simply put, GSP is the best at Anderson Silva’s weakest link---takedowns and wrestling.
Silva won’t lose the fight. He’s a much bigger man than GSP, and at some point he’ll be able to keep the fight standing long enough to mesmerize the best, most athletic striker he will have faced, and it will be the perfect cap to an illustrious career.
In the meantime, the UFC needs to hold a middleweight interim belt tournament, with Chris Weidman, Tim Boetsch, Michael Bisping and perhaps Henderson in the mix. Silva hasn’t said anything yet, but his retirement is nigh.
Jon Bones Jones
A title fight is looming in April between light heavyweight champ Jon 'Bones' Jones and an utterly undeserving challenger, Chael Sonnen. Sonnen’s last fight was a loss at 185. UFC president Dana White thinks Sonnen’s gift of gab will interest fans like it did for Anderson Silva v. Chael Sonnen II. But it hasn’t and won’t.
Sonnen did well against an injured Silva in their first fight, setting up interest for the second. Now, Sonnen’s coming off a loss at a lower weight class and fighting in a division he hasn’t competed in for over half a decade. The result is that Sonnen’s rants are coming off even more hackneyed and contrived, and he’s just become a sad parody of himself.
This fight took the respected UFC from ‘World’s fastest growing sport’ to entertainment show. Imagine the NHL or NFL taking the champion from one division and pitting it against a team from the other division based merely on what one segment of the fans supposedly want, rather than what team earned it or what the rest of the fans want.
The UFC lost street cred with a large portion of their fan base with this bad decision. I know I won’t watch. It’s an insult to my intelligence and to the time and effort I’ve put into following the UFC.
Click here for the GSP v. Condit undercard.
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