UFC 154: GSP Vs Condit takes place tomorrow in Montreal, Canada, and we’ve got our full predictions for all the evening’s fights for you below.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit
How big a factor will ring rust play in GSP’s return after 19 months out? It can’t be ruled out, but if anyone can overcome it then it’d be a super-athlete like him who’s meticulous about his training and preparation so I’m not overly concerned about that in this instance.
I can imagine Condit would be happy to keep this fight standing as like GSP he has a varied offensive arsenal and is light on his feet in addition to being a tougher, grittier competitor, but one of the reasons why St.Pierre has got where he is today is by being intelligent enough to fight to his own strengths and his opponents weaknesses, and in that instance that means taking the fight to the mat.
Condit is vulnerable to the takedown and GSP has a clear wrestling advantage. Having said that, Condit is very crafty off his back and in the scramble, but GSP has excellent positional control so I don’t see hm getting too many opportunities to catch the champion off-guard.
For GSP, after such a long absence this fight is just about winning rather than wowing his fans with a dazzling performance. I suspect we’ll see something akin to his fight with Dan Hardy with longe spells of control on top and perhaps the odd submission attempt, but Condit will hang in there to hear the final bell, bested, but not badly beaten.
Georges St.Pierre to win by decision.
Martin Kampmann vs. Johny Hendricks
While both men have other wrinkles to their game – namely Kampmann’s BJJ and Hendricks wrestling – this one looks like being a largely stand-up based affair. Of course Kampmann would be happy to oblige in that regard given his technical kickboxing, but Hendricks has had some real success with his less skillful but heavier striking and he’ll be keen to replicate that.
I think he’ll have opportunities to find a home for that big left hand as Kampmann’s defense can go AWOL at times as he puts his emphasis on his own offense. That’s a big risk for him as he can’t afford to take too many of those big shots, and I do have a concern that despite his durability in the past that one day the Danish striker’s chin is going to wilt and leave him very vulnerable indeed.
When Kampmann gets into his stride though he’s a very fluent striker and his combinations will pose Hendricks some big problems. That’s why I think Hendricks will look to make this an ugly fight, looking to land his shots and then get in close with clinchwork and dirty boxing to keep his opponent off-balance. I think that could be the recipe for success that’ll take Hendricks to a close decision victory here.
Johny Hendricks to win by decision.
Tom Lawlor vs. Francis Carmont
Lawlor brings punching power and a solid wrestling base into this fight, but while he’s an entertainer it’s sometimes up for debate just how focused he is on the actual fight and his cardio is often hit-or-miss.
That’s a concern against a fighter like Carmont who’s come in excellent shape and will be looking to push the pace for three rounds. Carmont doesn’t hit as hard as Lawlor, but he is a more versatile striker, should be stronger and is relentless with takedowns followed by ground and pound assaults and submission attempts.
I’m not 100% convinced by Carmont yet despite his association with headliner GSP, but I do think he’s good enough to beat Lawlor who’s cardio issues can lead to lapses in his submission defense will result in a late stoppage here.
Francis Carmont to win by submission in Rd3.
Nick Ring vs. Costa Philippou
Philippou’s been making significant strides in the UFC’s middleweight division with four wins in a row, while Ring has also pieced together three wins in four UFC fights, though I’d have to say that he’s rode his luck along the way to get there.
Ring is a decent striker who can piece together combinations of punches and kicks, but doesn’t wield the kind of power that’s going to strike fear into the heart of his opponents. Philippou is more dangerous with his boxing though and he’ll keep Ring on his toes with his quick striking flurries.
For me Ring is at his best on the ground where he’s adept at submissions, but Philippou is not without ability in this area too and trains under Matt Serra so I see this becoming something of a stalemate if it hits the mat. Over the course of three rounds I see Philippou getting the better of the stand-up action and hurting Ring, but having to eventually settle for a nod from the judges to earn the win.
Costa Phillipou to win by decision.
Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza
Hominick has been through a real rough patch lately, but I still think that on his day he’s a very good fighter and should be able to turn things around again.
On the feet I think he holds a clear advantage over Garza and will be looking to throw down the kind of technical, fast paced and precise offensive assaults that are his stock-in-trade despite the fact that he’ll be at a significant height and reach disadvantage.
Garza’s slick on the ground and Hominick has been vulnerable to submissions in the past, but with a lack of wrestling he’ll struggle to get him to the mat in the first place, and I like the Canadian to put him away inside of two rounds.
Mark Hominick to win by TKO in Rd2
Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara
Cyrille Diabate vs. Chad Griggs
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Mark Bocek
Sam Stout vs. John Makdessi
Antonio Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm
Matt Riddle vs. John Maguire
Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov
Steven Siler vs. Darren Elkins