With the return of welterweight king Georges St-Pierre against interim champion Carlos Condit less than a week away now, we take a look at some of mitigating factors that may affect the outcome of the big fight in the build-up, as well as where the fight might be won by either fighter.
The first thing that comes to mind is what UFC president Dana White has always insisted on, ring-rust is real. So many fighters over the years have struggled in their return fight after long lay-outs. This is a common occurrence in almost every sport. Training can only prepare you so much, inactivity in a competitive medium is a poison to any fighter, boxer, footballer etc.
You do get the feeling however, that we don’t have to worry about this with Georges St-Pierre, who has become known for being one of the most, if not the most, prepared and professional athletes in MMA history.
Regarding his opponent, Carlos Condit hasn’t exactly been the most active fighter himself, having decided to wait for St-Pierre’s return, rather than stay active and take on the next contender at 170 lbs.
A much talked about factor leading up to this fight has been coach Greg Jackson’s insistence of training neither of his fighters, understandably so, and taking a step back so as to not show favoritism either. With Jackson known for being one of the most savvy strategists in MMA over the last few years, will this affect how either fighter tackles the challenge before them? Or will his notorious “point-scoring” game-plans be thrown out the window with both men going for the finish early on? It will be very interesting to see.
Regarding the fight itself, expect St-Pierre to be cagey (no pun intended) early on, as he gets to grips with his surroundings and tries to figure out Condit’s timing, and game-plan.
Condit will be tougher to predict than St-Pierre’s last few opponents (Shields, Hardy and Alves spring to mind). This is because of his versatility and how his strategy completely changed in his last fight against Nick Diaz, opting to outland his opponent with effective and disciplined striking, rather than go for the kill like in most of his other fights leading up to this Saturday night. Will we see the “Natural-Born Killer” against GSP? or has Condit surmised a strategy to outsmart one of the smartest fighters of all time?
To be honest, as much as I think Condit is actually a very dangerous opponent, I see this fight going much like most other GSP title fights, except with Condit providing a few scares on the way.
I see Georges winning this fight, most likely by decision, but not after Condit winning at least one round convincingly, giving Georges something to think about, and reminding him that he’s most certainly in a fight.
It promises to be a great fight with both fighters having much to prove the not just the MMA world, but more importantly to themselves.