You read their articles, you watch and listen to their interviews, but often the personal opinions of the MMA media get brushed over.
These experts have inside knowledge of the sport and a unique perspective of the fighters that they have the privilege of interacting with. Before you place that bet in Vegas or with your friends, be sure to check out what those most educated about the sport have to say about the upcoming event.
Read as seven of the sport’s top writers and reporters break down and predict the UFC 154 main event of Georges ‘Rush’ St-Pierre vs. ‘The Natural Born Killer’ Carlos Condit.
Mike Bohn (Fight Cove): Georges St-Pierre has a ton of pressure to perform at UFC 154 with talks of superfights in his future and a return from the longest layoff of his career. Carlos Condit, on the other hand, is almost expected to lose, which makes him a very dangerous man. Condit has slick grappling and one-strike knockout power that St-Pierre needs to be very aware of or he will wake up on the mat wondering what happened. As most St-Pierre fights do, it’s going to come down to his ability to control the pace of the fight and score takedowns. A think a finish isn’t likely for either side so it comes down to the question of who is more likely to win three of the five rounds. My answer to that is GSP. Georges St-Pierre via Unanimous Decision
Dann Stupp (MMA Junkie): I like Carlos Condit’s chances. I really, really do. He frustrated Nick Diaz with a fantastic game plan, he finishes high-level opponents, and with the volume of strikes he throws, it could be a big factor in a five-round fight. Still, despite his lengthy layoff and surgically repaired knee, Georges St-Pierre is my pick. Until he gives me a reason to believe otherwise, St-Pierre is just too well-rounded, he’s got the of deceptive power to counter Condit’s output, and I think he can outwork and largely control Condit on the mat. St-Pierre via unanimous decision.
Dave Doyle (MMA Fighting/Sports Illustrated): Carlos Condit isn’t going to outwrestle Georges St-Pierre. Nor is he likely going to be able to employ the “Dancing for Points” style he used so against Nick Diaz, not with a fighter as patient as GSP. Will we see the return of the go-for-broke Condit, then? That seems to be the interim champion’s best path to victory. But if he does so, we’re likely to be reminded that even though we haven’t seen it in awhile, GSP can get down and dirty in a firefight, too. St-Pierre via TKO.
Damon Martin (MMA Weekly): I may be in the minority on this one, but I really believe this is Carlos Condit’s time. He’s the kind of dynamic fighter willing to take the chances that past opponents have been unwilling to do to beat Georges St-Pierre. Condit isn’t afraid of the takedown, and he’s willing to throw a flying knee or spinning elbow to land the big strike he needs to put somebody away. Make no mistakes about it, Condit fought a strategic masterpiece against Nick Diaz, but he’s one of the most explosive strikers the UFC welterweight division has ever seen. St-Pierre is amazing no doubt, but I feel like it’s time for a changing of the guard. Carlos Condit by 3rd round TKO
Guilherme Cruz (Tatame): The biggest question in the GSP-Condit fight is how the recovery will affect the champion on his Wrestling abilities. If he comes out of the surgeries 100%, he’s going to take Condit down and work a submission for 25 minutes – and he might even get it. If his knees aren’t the same yet, he’ll have a big trouble while going or the takedowns, and Carlos would get a bigger chance on the striking game. With all these “ifs”, I see St-Pierre getting of the cage with another win by decision.
Chuck Mindenhall (ESPN): There are so many question marks for GSP that give me pause, like…how will his knee hold up after the injury and all that rehab? Will he be ring rusty after 19 months? Will his nerves, notoriously jangly things even under normal circumstances, get the better of him in his native Montreal? Can he withstand Condit’s aggression? Does the shadow and Anderson Silva loom over him? But then I can’t shake that it’s St. Pierre, a superhuman, and I answer my own questions (Probably fine, probably not, doubtful, certainly and absolutely not). My hunch is that St. Pierre will still be explosive, he’ll still be able to use jab to set up the takedowns, he’ll still frustrate his opponent’s game plan, and he’ll look as if he never went away. Going St. Pierre, TKO, third round.
Jason Nawara (Middle Easy): In my mind the GSP/Condit fight comes down to these three things: rust, the gameplan and takedown defense. The rust factor is an obvious one; GSP hasn’t been in the cage Octagon for 18 months. But keep in mind it’s just over a year since he was injured, so his injury in some ways was just a long layoff. If GSP for some strange reason needs a round or three to warm up, he might be toast…French-Canadian toast. As far as the gameplan? Carlos Condit had the most perfect and frustrating gameplan any human could ever devise against Nick Diaz, so why not assume that The Natural Born Killer and Greg Jackson went into a room and broke down exactly what needs to happen in order to defeat GSP? The natural born conclusion that they probably came to was ‘stop the takedown.’ If Condit can stay off his back, he has as good a chance as anyone at defeating GSP. Keep the fight standing, then implement some of that spinning sh*t Condit loves and maybe he can land something. I want to take Condit, but I’m going GSP via 4th round armbar.
Adam Martin (Sportsnet): Everyone is wondering about how Georges St-Pierre will look in his UFC 154 main event bout against Carlos Condit coming off a near two-year layoff, and most seem to think he’ll look worse. But for some reason I think he’s going to look even better than ever. OK with playing it safe for the last few years, I believe St-Pierre is hungry to show everyone why he’s one of the very best mixed martial artists that has ever stepped foot in a cage. He’s going to take Condit down at will and control the interim champ with his dominant ground game, and possibly even get a stoppage. I’m going with St-Pierre all day in this one, most likely via unanimous decision but don’t count out a finish. Maybe I’m not giving Condit enough credit, but I just don’t see how he gets by St-Pierre unless the French-Canadian re-injures his knee during the fight.
Media picking Georges St-Pierre: Seven
Media picking Carlos Condit: One