For the past five years, Georges St. Pierre has been unstoppable. The Canadian has proved fight in and fight out he is one of the best fighters in mixed martial arts.
Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn and Josh Koscheck have fallen victim to GSP since the second and most shocking loss of his career to Matt Serra in April of 2007.
After being sidelined the last year and a half with an ACL injury, the 31-year old St. Pierre (22-2) returns to the Octagon at UFC 154 to defend his welterweight title in front of his hometown fans in Montreal against interim title-holder Carlos Condit (28-5) of New Mexico.
The 28-year-old challenger poses perhaps the toughest challenge for the champion in the past few years. Condit, the former WEC welterweight champion, has won five bouts in a row, collecting a couple of “Knockout of the Night” bonuses along the way. That’s why a major upset could be in the cards.
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“I like playing the role of the spoiler,” Condit said. “There’s a lot of people in the sport and in the media that I think are overlooking me as an opponent for Georges.”
Part of the reason might be the fact that a mega-fight awaits St. Pierre should he defeat the American challenger. That bout would be against middleweight champion Anderson Silva, arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA history.
“I don’t feel like Georges is overlooking me, but I’m excited to get in there and do my thing and hopefully change a lot of plans,” Condit said. “They’re two of the greatest fighters ever to step in the Octagon and there’s always that interest in seeing who really is the best, but first things first, Georges and I have to do our thing.”
Facing Condit is a big risk, considering the magnitude of a fight against Silva, but GSP welcomes the pressure.
“I’m used to fighting under pressure, and I think I perform at my best when I feel like I’m over the edge,” St. Pierre said. “That’s when I’m at my best. So I think it’s a good thing.”
UFC president Dana White knows a Condit victory would disrupt plans for the biggest fight in UFC history. But White said he wanted to present the best fight possible for the fans.
“If you look at the way fights are done in boxing, when a champion of GSP’s caliber comes back you usually give him an easy fight,” White said. “This is far from an easy fight for Georges St-Pierre. This is a very tough fight.”