Georges St. Pierre bloodied Carlos Condit for 25 minutes at UFC 154. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Perhaps this will quiet the detractors.
In his first appearance in nearly two years, longtime welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre overwhelmed interim titleholder Carlos Condit with takedowns, ground-and-pound and beautiful standing combinations, as he unified the welterweight crown with a unanimous decision in the UFC 154 headliner on Saturday at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
St. Pierre (23-2, 17-2 UFC) swept the scorecards by 49-46, 50-45 and 50-45 counts, showing no ill effects from the knee injury that threatened his brilliant career.
“People talk about ring rust. I definitely know what it is now,” he said. “Credit to Carlos. He gave me my toughest fight. He lost, but this loss will make him a better martial artist, and he’s going to come back stronger.”
Condit (28-6, 5-2 UFC) took the praise in stride.
“It’s a great compliment from such a great champion, but [it does] not really [provide any consolation,” he said. “I’m still disappointed. I’m glad I was able to come in and fight a guy like Georges and put on a great show for these fans in Montreal.”
St. Pierre was exceptional but not flawless. He weathered an encounter with a perfectly timed head kick from Condit in the third round.
The 31-year-old French Canadian went down, and though Condit swarmed for the finish, St. Pierre remained calm, regained his composure and ultimately cleared his head.
“I didn’t see the kick,” he said. “I think in the round before this one, I got punched in the eyes and my eyesight was a little blurry. I never saw the kick. Carlos did a nice job and threw a nice combo. What you don’t see, that’s what’s dangerous, and it knocked me down.”
Condit thought it was over.
“I thought I had him,” he said. “He was still coherent. I was going to try to get in there and put some leather on him and finish off the job, but he did a good job of recovering. He stayed close to me and hit me with an upkick. Maybe I’ll get him next time.”
Outside of the head kick, St. Pierre was his old dominant self. He struck for takedowns in all five rounds and sliced open his challenger with a short elbow from the top inside the first five minutes. Condit spilled blood everywhere -- on himself, on the canvas and on St. Pierre. He stayed active from his back in the face of heavy fire, but his advances were turned away by the relentless champion.
“His top game was very good,” Condit said. “He was able to hold me down better than I expected. I expected to be able to create more scrambles, but I wasn’t able to do that. I feel like I did pretty well and left it in here, but I need to go back to the drawing board and shore up some stuff, for sure.”
Hendricks KOs Kampmann in 46 Seconds
Team Takedown’s Johny Hendricks knocked out Martin Kampmann with a wicked straight left hand 46 seconds into the first round of their welterweight co-main event.
Hendricks (14-1, 9-1 UFC) followed a lead right hook with the knockout blow, as he sent the defenseless Dane careening backwards, his head bouncing violently off the canvas. The 29-year-old Oklahoman polished off Kampmann (20-6, 11-5 UFC) with a standing-to-ground punch for good measure, but the deal had already been sealed.
Now the No. 1 contender for the welterweight crown, Hendricks has won five consecutive fights.
“Kampmann is a tough dude,” Hendricks said. “I’ve trained with him before. I knew he had a chance to beat me. I knew I had to go out there and prove that I’m the No. 1 contender. Please give me a shot at the belt. It’s funny. I just started hitting that combo a week ago. It came to me in a dream. I was like, ‘What if this works?’ Sure enough, it did.”
Carmont Edges Lawlor on Cards
Tristar Gym representative Francis Carmont recorded his ninth straight victory, as he eked out a split verdict over Tom Lawlor in a featured middleweight matchup. All three judges scored it 29-28, two of them ruling in favor of Carmont (20-7, 4-0 UFC).
Lawlor (8-5, 4-4 UFC) stayed busy with punches and clinches; the Frenchman answered his advances with heavy kicks to the body and knees to the head. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 alum struck for a pair of takedowns in the second round but ultimately ceded top position to Carmont with a failed guillotine attempt.
Neither man showed much initiative in round three, where Lawlor pressed for clinches and Carmont relied on kicks and knees.
Surging Dos Anjos Dominates Bocek
Rafael dos Anjos ran circles around Toronto-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Mark Bocek, cruising to a unanimous decision in a lopsided lightweight showcase. All three judges scored it the same: 30-27 for dos Anjos (18-6, 7-4 UFC), who has won his last three fights.
Dos Anjos beat up his Canadian counterpart on the feet and on the ground, denying each of the takedown attempts Bocek (11-5, 7-5 UFC) threw his way. The 28-year-old Brazilian opened multiple cuts on Bocek’s face and left little doubt as to who was the superior fighter.
The defeat snapped Bocek’s modest two-fight winning streak.
Garza Top Game Batters Hominick
Takedowns and a punishing top game carried Pablo Garza to a unanimous decision over former title contender Mark Hominick in a featherweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it for Garza (12-3, 3-2 UFC): 29-27, 30-26 and 29-28.
Garza spent more than eight minutes in top position, battering the Canadian with short punches and elbows following takedowns in the second and third rounds. This resulted in multiple cuts and heavy bruising on Hominick’s face, as “The Scarecrow” proved merciless on top.
Hominick (20-12, 3-4 UFC) did his best work in the first round, where he buckled the North Dakotan with a right hand and floored him with a savage left hook to the body. Garza recovered and answered with strikes of his own, opening a vertical cut over Hominick’s left eyebrow with a crisp right uppercut. That set the table for his surge over the final 10 minutes.
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