One of the most anticipated UFC events in recent memory takes place Saturday night at the Bell Center in Montreal, when Georges St-Pierre makes his long awaited return to the octagon to take on Carlos Condit at UFC 154. This match will decide the UFC Welterweight Championship, as St-Pierre was the Welterweight Champion when he injured his knee in December of 2011, and Condit has held the interim title ever since, so the winner of this match will be named the Undisputed Welterweight Champion. The rest of the card is also outstanding, and I have been on absolute fire with my UFC Picks lately, so let’s get to it:
Preliminary Card (FACEBOOK): Darren Elkins OVER Steven Siler, Ivan Menjivar OVER Azamat Gashimov, Matthew Riddle OVER John Maguire, Antonio Carvalho OVER Rodrigo Damm
Preliminary Card: Sam Stout OVER John Makdessi, Mark Bocek OVER Rafael dos Anjos, Chad Griggs OVER Cyrille Diabate, Patrick Cote OVER Alessio Sakara
Mark Hominick (20-11) vs. Pablo Garza (11-3) – Featherweight Bout – Pablo Garza has only lost three fights in his career, however two of them have been his last two fights, and he attempting to avoid a three fight losing streak on Saturday night. Mark Hominick is coming off of a three fight losing streak, one of those fights were a split decision against Eddie Yagin, and the other was a unanimous decision loss in a great fight against champion Jose Aldo. Someone’s streak ends on Saturday night. THE PICK: Hominick by decision.
Nick Ring (13-1) vs. Costa Philippou (11-2-1) – Middleweight Bout – Nick Ring has only one loss in his career, and has proven himself as a tough competitor in the UFC, but he has a problematic knee that has forced him to have reconstructive surgery three times. His only loss was to Tim Boetsch, one of the toughest guys in the UFC, at UFC 135 in September of 2011. Costa Philippou enters this fight on a four fight winning streak, and he has only one loss in the UFC, which was at UFC 128 in March of 2011. This should be an excellent fight and will be tough to call, but I’m giving the slight edge to Philippou, in what should be a fight of the night candidate. The Pick: Philippou by TKO in the third round.
Francis Carmont (19-7) vs. Tom Lawlor (8-4-1) – Middleweight Bout – You may remember Tom Lawlor from Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, when he lost in the first round of the show to eventual winner Ryan Bader, and he has since dropped to middleweight. Francis Carmont enters this bout on a eight fight winning streak and he has not lost since 2008, so he is currently a force to be reckoned with, and Lawlor will have trouble with Carbot’s excellent submission skills. The Pick: Carmont by Submission in the Second Round.
Martin Kampmann (20-5) vs. Johnny Hendricks (13-1) – Welterweight Bout – I cannot wait for this fight, it should be an excellent matchup against two of my favorite competitors in MMA, and the winner will likely be named the number one contender for the Welterweight Title. The dangerous and resilient Danish kick boxer Martin Kampmann enters this bout on a three fight winning streak, his fights are always entertaining, and he has victories over some of the best mixed martial artists in his weight class. He faces off against American wrestler Johnny Hendricks, who has been an absolute force since joining the UFC, and has won four matches in a row dating back to a loss to Rick Story in December 2010. This is my pick to win fight of the night, Hendricks ahs more power and can dominate on the ground, but Kampmann is excellent with submissions and a better striker. If I have to pick I’m taking the more well rounded Kampmann, however, these are two of the toughest guys in MMA and it can go either way. The Pick: Kampmann by Decision.
Georges St-Pierre (22-2) vs. Carlos Condit (28-5) – Unanimous Welterweight Championship Bout – When I think of the greatest active mixed martial artists regardless of weight class, the first name that pops into my head is Anderson Silva, but he is quickly followed by Georges St-Pierre. The most well rounder fighter we have seen, St-Pierre does not have to make opponents fight his style, he often fights his opponent’s style and beats them at their own game. St-Pierre has excellent stand up, is an incredible wrestler, and is dominant in the ground game. Georges has won nine fights in a row and has not lost since April of 2007, it will be a pleasure to see him back in the octagon on Saturday night, but he will have his work cut out for him. Carlos Condit has won five matches in a row and has been dominant since a loss to Martin Kampmann (his only loss in the UFC) in April of 2009, with wins over several dangerous opponents, including my favorite up-and-comer Rory MacDonald. Condit is a well rounded fighter, and unlike St-Pierre, he will have no ring rust from time away from competition. However, in his native Montreal, in his first fight in a year and a half, I’d be crazy not to pick GSP. The Pick: Georges St-Pierre by Second Round TKO.
UFC PICKS RECORD (by event):
UFC on FUEL TV: Franklin vs. Cung Le –
Preliminaries (1-2) Main Card (4-1) Overall (5-3)
UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar –
Preliminaries (5-1) Main Card (4-2) Overall (9-3)
UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao –
Preliminaries (4-2) Main Card (2-3) Overall (6-5)
UFC 148: Sliva vs. Sonnen II –
Preliminaries (3-2) Main Card (5-1) Overall (8-3)
UFC 146: Dos Santos vs Mir –
Preliminaries (4-3) Main Card (4-1) Overall (8-4)
UFC on FOX 2: Evans vs. Davis –
Main Card (3-0)
Preliminaries (17-10) Main Card (22-8) Overall (39-18)