The Montreal crowd was beyond deafening as Georges St-Pierre entered the Bell Centre at UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit on Saturday night to unify his UFC welterweight title with Carlos Condit’s interim strap.
Neither man would lay claim to being the UFC champion before this fight, but one man would at the end of the night. And that man would be Georges St-Pierre, but not before Carlos Condit gave him the fight of his career.
St-Pierre wasted no time, racing straight across the Octagon at Condit, although both were then measured in their engagement. St-Pierre looked extremely confident, cutting off the Octagon, mixing up his punches and kicks, keeping the pressure on before securing a takedown.
St-Pierre smothered Condit for the remaining three minutes of round one, grounding and pounding him, as Condit tried to find something from the bottom. Condit regained his feet just before the horn, but showed a bad cut over his right eye as he headed to his corner.
Round started off strong again St-Pierre, who kept pressing forward. He gave Condit a little more space on the feet, but seemed to use it to his advantage, countering Condit with one-off shots before once again planting him on the mat and smothering him in his ground and pound attack.
The right side of Condit’s face was a crimson mask following the second round.
Just when it seemed St-Pierre was starting to open a gap, Condit caught St-Pierre with a left high kick to the head that put him on the mat. Condit swarmed, but St-Pierre defended, eventually escaping to his feet.
That sequence seemed to awaken something deep inside St-Pierre, as he unleashed a punch combination that rocked Condit, and then planted him on the canvas, once again grounding and pounding him. Condit regained his feet briefly, but St-Pierre drug him down, finishing the round on top, pounding on Condit.
Condit landed a less effective high kick to open the championship rounds, but St-Pierre’s takedown timing was again impeccable. St-Pierre worked his ground pound, eventually was reversed by Condit, but immediately took his top position back. He worked body and head to the end of the fourth round, pinning Condit against the fence.
Both men entered the final rounding searching for the finish, trying to snare the one unified UFC welterweight championship, not leave it to be handed over.
St-Pierre scored early with his strikes, but Condit wouldn’t go quietly, answering back with as much firepower was lobbed his way… on the feet. The one area Condit had no answer, however, was St-Pierre’s takedown game.
He hit the takedown once again just past the midway point of the final stanza. St-Pierre stayed on Condit, relentless in his ground and pound attack, smothering him, but not laying on him.
In the end, Georges St-Pierre walked away the undisputed UFC welterweight champion, a unanimous nod from the judges declaring him so. He took Condit down at will, pounding him into a bloody mess, but had to fight his way through one of the most tenacious fighters he’s ever met, proving that he’s not just a tremendous athlete, but also has the heart of a fighter beating in his chest.
“Credit to Carlos, he gave me my toughest fight. He is a martial artist,” said St-Pierre after the fight. “He lost, but this loss is going to make him a better martial arts.”
It was little consolation to Condit, who obviously wanted to walk away with the belt, but he accepted St-Pierre’s compliment with humility.
“It’s a great compliment from a great champion, but I’m still disappointed.”
St-Pierre, of course, would not escape the Octagon without answering the question on everyone’s mind: would he now take a fight with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva?
He answered, but still, St-Pierre did not have the answer that everyone wanted.
“I know Anderson Silva is here right now, but I was focusing on Carlos Condit 100 percent right now. I need to take a little vacation and discuss my future (before I make a decision).”
St-Pierre re-established himself as thee UFC welterweight champion, but still left fans wondering if there is a superfight on the horizon or if he will instead defend his belt, perhaps against Johny Hendricks.
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