A sight long overdue materialized earlier this evening at UFC 154 when welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre strutted down to the Octagon to defend his belt. The bout was GSP’s first since April 2011 when he saw eighteen months of his career evaporate due to a pair of knee injuries including a torn ACL.
While his return to the ring was highly anticipated and came in front of his hometown fans, St-Pierre certainly wasn’t given an easy task in his attempt at reclaiming glory, as he faced 28-5 finisher Carlos Condit in the evening’s main event. The “Natural Born Killer” had been on a tear leading up to tonight’s main event, winning five straight fights against Dan Hardy, Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Dong Hyun Kim, and Nick Diaz.
St-Pierre came out strong, matching Condit in the stand-up department before taking him down and peppering him with strikes from the top. Before long Condit was opened up with the damage being accelerated in the second stanza when “Rush” caught him rushing in. GSP scored another takedown shortly thereafter, winning the frame with some more ground and pound. However, in the third Condit landed a huge head kick that sent St-Pierre to the mat and then attacked without hesitation. St-Pierre survived the onslaught, getting back to his feet and ultimately scoring another takedown to ride out the rest of the round in an advantageous position. The fourth round saw more of the same with St-Pierre putting Condit on his back and pounding him from above for the bulk of the period. St-Pierre was equally convincing in the fifth, looking crisp with his punches and again taking Condit down to pummel him. In the end, the fan-favorite came away with the Unanimous Decision victory to mark his seventh straight championship defense.
Also on the card, welterweight contenders Martin Kampmann (20-5) and Johny Hendricks (13-1) collided in hopes of earning a crack at the championship. Kampmann’s propensity for eating punches early proved to be true once again though the “Hitman” couldn’t recover from Hendricks’ power this time around. The knockout was the eighth of Hendricks’ career and likely earned him a go at welterweight gold depending on what happens between St-Pierre and Anderson Silva.
Read below for a full list of UFC 154 winners/losers:
Darren Elkins def. Steven Siler via Unanimous Decision
Ivan Menjivar def. Azamat Gashimov via Submission Round 1 (Armbar)
Matt Riddle def. John Maguire via Unanimous Decision
Antonio Carvalho def. Rodrigo Damm via Split Decision
John Makdessi def. Sam Stout via Unanimous Decision
Cyrille Diabate def. Chad Griggs via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Patrick Cote def. Alessio Sakara via Disqualification (Illegal Shots to Back of Head)
Pablo Garza def. Mark Hominick via Unanimous Decision
Rafael dos Anjos def. Mark Bocek via Unanimous Decision
Francis Carmont def. Tom Lawlor via Split Decision
Johny Hendricks def. Martin Kampmann via Knockout Round 1 (Strikes)
Georges St-Pierre def. Carlos Condit via Unanimous Decision