During the Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale broadcast the UFC confirmed two tilts fans had already been expecting and a new match-up providing both insurance and entertainment value to the organization’s spring stop in Montreal. Officially announced for the March 16 show were a welterweight title-defense from Georges St-Pierre, who will take on rival Nick Diaz, as well as fights featuring Carlos Condit-Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger-Johny Hendricks.
St-Pierre (23-2) and Diaz (26-8) have seemingly been destined to duke it out for some time, seeing two previous pairings fall apart for a variety of reasons. A steady stream of trash-talk from Diaz ultimately influenced GSP’s decision to accept the fight rather than take on Hendricks, the more deserving contender. However, with Hendricks also scheduled for the show, a substitute is at least in place if either Diaz or St-Pierre ends up unable to compete on the card.
Meanwhile, Hendricks’ willingness to meet Ellenberger is a change in course for the bearded brawler after having said he would wait for his crack at St-Pierre’s championship. The 14-1 Hendricks has won five straight including success against Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, and Martin Kampmann. Comparably, Ellenberger is 28-6 with 22 finishes and victories in seven of his last eight outings.
The clash between Condit-MacDonald brings the total of Top 10 welterweights on the lineup to six. The duo collided once before in July 2010 where MacDonald (14-1) appeared to have the best of Condit (28-6) before suffering a TKO loss in the final ten seconds of the scrap.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC