UFC welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre is finally set to make his long awaited return from ACL knee surgery tonight in front of his home crowd at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and to be completely honest the stakes could not be any higher. The organization is not giving GSP an easy fight to ease his way back into the sport after the 18 month layoff due to his injury. St. Pierre will be entering the octagon tonight against a man that could very well be the biggest threat he’s ever faced while defending his crown. On this frosty November night in 2012 that will likely go down in MMA history he’ll be taking on “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit; the interim UFC Welterweight Champion.
The big question that everyone is curious to find the answer to is whether GSP will come back as explosive and athletic as he was before having one of the most serious operations an athlete can undergo in his ACL knee repair. The word out of Georges’ camp is that he is stronger and faster than he was before the operation, but let’s get real for a second: the reality is that no athlete is ever stronger and faster than before such a major operation to such a critical part of what makes premiere athletes so dominant. Some athletes never return from similar operations, some come back and never find their full stride again…and some come back only to watch themselves lose all that they once had in a tragic passing of the torch.
However, we are indeed talking about Georges St. Pierre, one of the most dominant and explosive athletes we’ve ever seen in any sport, let alone in MMA. Georges has explained on several occasions that he was nervous about his return but then realized that he had nothing but the best doctors and rehabilitation specialists working with him around the clock to get him back to the top of his game. So the question everyone wants to know is, “will Georges be the same fighter?”
My guess is yes. St. Pierre has never failed to blow my expectations out of the water. He improves in every single appearance, he never stops growing, learning, and he continually becomes a better professional. As much time and money as the UFC has put in to making Jon Jones the face of the company their efforts will never elevate Jones to the level of Georges St. Pierre, not because he is not as talented or full of potential, but because St. Pierre is the most humble, honest, and respectful champion I have ever seen in any sport. The way he carries himself in and outside of the cage is unmatched by anyone and that type of professionalism does not lead to a sudden collapse after a single injury, regardless of the severity. St. Pierre is here to stay and his resurgence of dominance will be on display for the MMA world to see tonight as he battles Carlos Condit in a Champion vs. Champion bout that will tell us more about Georges St. Pierre than any of his past fights have combined. The task may not come easy but my gut tells me that GSP will, like he always has, exploit the weakness of his opponent and attack it without restraint.
Condit, although he is a dangerous fighter in every position known to the fight game, has always had a weakness in defending the takedown. Well, it just so happens that GSP has the highest takedown percentage of any fighter…ever. That should give fans a better understanding of the probability that Condit may fight the majority of this fight from his back…and the stats show that if St. Pierre is successful in taking Condit to the ground that this could be a very long, brutal night for “The Natural Born Killer”. This is not to say that Condit will not be able to stop St. Pierre’s takedown attacks. After all, Condit implemented an outstanding game plan that saw him outpoint, out speed, and outsmart Nick Diaz to claim the interim welterweight strap last February. His footwork in that fight proved to the world that Condit is surely the threat to GSP. His talent and veteran experience will test Georges, but I still have to believe that “RUSH” will be too dominant in every aspect of the fight. Condit may give GSP a run for his money, but when all is said and done St. Pierre will unify the two welterweight straps and walk away King of the UFC welterweights once again.
Tonight, the Champion will reclaim his spot atop the MMA world and leave the MMA community in awe at how great he can still look even after so much time.Tags: Carlos Condit, georges st. pierre, mma, MMA NEWS, mma video, mma videos, ufc, UFC 154, ufc 154 weigh ins, UFC Montreal, ufc primetime, UFC Video, ufc videos