A pair of pivotal welterweight bouts is in the works for UFC 154.
UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is expected to defend his title against interim champ Carlos Condit at the Nov. 17 event, which is also slated to feature a battle between top contenders Johny Hendricks and Martin Kampmann. UFC President Dana White confirmed the Hendricks-Kampmann matchup following UFC on FX 3 on Friday night.
The matchups are not yet set in stone, however, as St. Pierre’s recovery from knee surgery could require more time to heal. In the event that St. Pierre is unable to compete, Condit has stated publicly that he would prefer to defend his interim belt against Kampmann, the man who spoiled Condit’s UFC debut and handed Condit his lone loss in his last 14 outings. UFC 154 is expected to air live on pay-per-view from the Bell Centre in Montreal.
St. Pierre (Pictured, file photo), 31, has not lost since suffering a 2007 upset to Matt Serra that cost him the welterweight strap. Since that loss, “Rush” has won nine straight, recapturing his title and successfully defending it against Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, B.J. Penn and Jake Shields. St. Pierre was expected to defend his title last October, but an injury postponed his defense until February’s UFC 143. That also was not to be, as the champion tore his ACL in training and was forced to withdraw once more.
Condit was thrust into the UFC 143 main event on the heels of St. Pierre’s knee injury, outpointing former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz to win the interim welterweight championship. “The Natural Born Killer” has earned five Octagon wins since his hard-fought defeat to Kampmann, topping Diaz, Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim in that span.
Hendricks, 28, has won eight of his nine bouts in the UFC, with only a 2010 decision loss to Rick Story marring his professional record. “Bigg Rigg” rebounded from his loss to Story with a trio of victories in 2011, taking a split nod over Mike Pierce between knockouts of Fitch and T.J. Waldburger. Hendricks’ most recent outing came at UFC on Fox 3 last month, when the southpaw edged Josh Koscheck in a split decision.
Kampmann has also found himself on a roll as of late, posting three straight wins following a pair of contentious decision losses to Jake Shield and Diego Sanchez. “The Hitman” outpointed Story to close out last year and kicked off 2012 with a pair of victories, submitting Thiago Alves with a guillotine choke in March before knocking out Ellenberger one week ago at “The Ultimate Fighter 15” finale.