UFC 137: St-Pierre vs. Condit
Oct 29, 2011
Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit
UFC Betting Pick: Carlos Condit (+350)
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Welterweight Championship: Georges "Rush" St. Pierre (-440) vs. Carlos "The Natural Born Killer" Condit (+350)
Georges "Rush" St-Pierre (22-2) is the best welterweight in mixed martial arts history by far. He has taken almost every fight he has come across, however, if one was to examine his recent wins, it would become obvious he no longer fights like he used to—he now fights to win regardless of the “show” he puts on.
Now this is not to say that St-Pierre is no longer a great fighter but it now appears he is more concerned with maintaining his title and being cautious, safe and calculating rather than being a cage warrior. Perhaps this is the best way to glory—using intelligence coupled with brute force to break down a fight, however, this strategy makes him look almost reluctant to engage and perhaps a little “gun shy” in the eyes of the enemy.
Not only is Carlos "The Natural Born Killer" Condit (27-5) just as skilled as St-Pierre, he is also a very aggressive fighter who would no doubt like to be the next UFC Welterweight Champ. If anyone has a chance of taking St-Pierre it is Condit and Nick Diaz, of whom Condit is replacing in this bout.
Both these guys know they have a legitimate chance of downing the champ and would throw caution in the wind to do it—at this point in their careers they would rather put on a good show than win a fight based on a decision.
St-Pierre is a better striker than Condit—both more technical and more powerful yet I think he will be overwhelmed by Condit’s intensity. Condit has very long limbs and can pressure St-Pierre all the while staying outside of his range. St-Pierre is a very calculating fighter who likes to dictate the pace of his fights and this pressure from Condit may rattle him.
In his last two fights—UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields and UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2, St-Pierre used a simple single jab to keep both fighters at bay. This game plan proved to be so effective that that he essentially won the fight with this move, but with Condit’s reach advantage, it is unlikely this tactic will work this time.
Condit will utilize movement and angles to avoid St-Pierre’s strikes, however, his aggressive nature will be what makes the difference—Condit will not be content to fight at St-Pierre’s pace and will pressure him to keep the fight moving.
He is willing to take a punch to get a punch and will not hesitate to step in for a good jab. I do not see St-Pierre being able to contend with Condit’s pressure and pace and though St-Pierre may have an opportunity here and there to KO Condit as he is coming in, St-Pierre will need to be fully alert and in step with Condit to capitalize on these opportunities.
Despite his long lanky arms, Condit has devastating power, especially behind his right hook—in 27 mixed martial arts fights he has 13 of them by KO as well as 13 by submission. Though he is only a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu he has great no gi grappling. Despite his black belt in the same discipline, St-Pierre has very lax submissions and his wins were not as dynamic as those of Condit.
Though he obtained his BJJ black belt from Renzo Gracie, St-Pierre does not train with him on a regular basis and despite his time in Brazil working with Roger Gracie, his grappling game is not the best. At times I wonder if his belt was awarded on merit or attendance.
When it comes to wrestling, St-Pierre dominates—he is heads above Condit and has the ability to take him down. With wrestling skills that are of Olympic caliber, this is where St-Pierre can win the fight, however, my concern is Condit’s long limbs and his very good bottom grappling game—Condit can use his long limbs and aggressive grappling to give St-Pierre aggravation.
I do not think he has the ability to submit St-Pierre but he may just be able to put him in an off position which can lead to Condit getting this fight back into a standing battle.
In most fights, St-Pierre has the advantage as he hails from Jackson’s Submission Fighting and comes into the cage with a Greg Jackson game plan, however, as both he and Condit are from the same camp, Jackson does not take sides by providing a personalized plan.
Nevertheless, both fighters are no doubt familiar with one another and know better than anyone else what their strengths and weakness are, giving them the best opportunity to hang onto the UFC Welterweight title or take it away from its current owner.
Bottom Line: I like Condit’s hunger and aggressiveness. He has the determination and the desire that I think St-Pierre seems to be lacking these days. Condit won’t play this fight safe—he will either win or be destroyed but regardless, he will dictate the pace of this battle with his aggressiveness. The question is, can St-Pierre can handle a hungry Condit and match his pace or will he be overwhelmed? Will he be cautious and calculating or get caught up and lose himself in the fury?
When it comes to UFC betting I think that the odds should be much closer than they currently are and that a +350 underdog bet is worth wagering on.
I think that Condit will put so much pressure on St-Pierre that he will be overwhelmed and totally out of his element. He will most likely down him with his aggressive striking, however, he needs to take care or St-Pierre will tag him when he goes in wild.
Look for Condit to KO St Pierre in the Third Round to Become the new UFC Welterweight Champion
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