In Georges St. Pierre’s return to the octagon after a 19 month layoff he dominated interim champion Carlos Condit for five rounds. St. Pierre showed his outstanding top game that has made him champion, but also a willingness to throw with the heavy handed Condit. The only moment in the fight where GSP fans thought the fight may be in question was the vicious head kick that nearly knocked out St. Pierre.
The co-main event saw Johny Hendricks get a huge knockout victory over Martin Kampmann. It only took 46 seconds for Hendricks to finish the fight and now it could set upa fight between Hendricks and St. Pierre.
What We Learned:
St. Pierre is truly a class above everyone else at welterweight. Condit was the toughest challenger he has faced in years, but other than the head kick Condit delivered GSP was never in trouble.
The question is where St. Pierre goes next from here. Does he face Anderson Silva at a catchweight or does he take on Hendricks for the welterweight title? Both present very different challenges for GSP. Silva would be one of the most dynamic strikers that St. Pierre has faced along with having a serious size advantage over GSP. Could GSP take and hold Silva down or would Silva’s dynamic striking be too much for the champ? Hendricks can finish anyone with one punch and also has elite wrestling which is St. Pierre’s strength. Can Hendricks avoid the takedown? Can GSP withstand a big shot from the left hand of Hendricks?
Condit is an elite level welterweight. He never gave up in the fight and nearly finished it in the third round with a huge head kick. It’s back to the drawing board for Condit, but he shouldn’t be disappointed with his performance. Many challengers have been outclassed by the champ, but not many can say they nearly finished him also.
Hendricks can finish anyone. He showed that in the fight with Kampmann and even showed that he isn’t just a left hand, but can
set up the left with jabs. He presents an interesting style for Georges St. Pierre because he’s a wrestler that has learned to strike and is very good at it. It will be interesting to see whether Hendricks is given a shot at St. Pierre or he has to wait until after a Silva-St. Pierre super fight.
Kampmann still takes too much damage and showed it after be knocked out by Hendricks. He has made a career of being hurt by opponents, but persevering to earn a victory. The power of Hendricks was too much for Kampmann and if he wants to be a contender in the welterweight division, Kampmann will have to learn to avoid damage and utilize his length and submissions.