This Saturday, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre will step into the octagon for the first time in over a year and a half.
St. Pierre last fought on April 30, 2011 at UFC 129 against Jake Shields. Since then he’s battled a different opponent; his surgically repaired ACL. After rigorous rehab, many questions still loom regarding St. Pierre’s future but all indications are that the champ will be back and better than ever.
Firas Zahabi told The Fight Network, “In practice he’s looking phenomenal and he’s performing at the level he was before and more. He’s more technical, he’s wiser, he’s smarter, he’s more cerebral when he spars now. I really think he’s going to do extremely well.”
While St. Pierre was rehabbing, Carlos Condit established himself as the new welterweight kingpin securing wins over Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger, Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim. Though it didn’t come without controversy, Condit decided not to defend his interim title but rather wait for St. Pierre.
In February following his win over Diaz, Condit told MMA Fighting, “I’d like to fight Georges St. Pierre. He’s the Michael Jordan of MMA. An opportunity to fight Georges St. Pierre could come once in a lifetime. Not only is he the UFC welterweight champion but I’ve been waiting to fight him for months. I was supposed to fight him in October and that fell through. I’m itching to fight Georges.”
Condit continued on saying the time off wouldn’t be a hindrance as he’s constantly a sparring and working to evolve his technical game.
St. Pierre has received a large amount of criticism for his apparent inability to finish fights. Over the span of his last nine fights, St. Pierre has seen six of those go to decision. St. Pierre has stated that he plans on being more aggressive and opportunistic but Condit told MMA Mania that’s going to be a mistake.
"Yeah I do. I think that's because of a lot of the criticism that he's got lately, you know he's going to try and make a statement. He's going to try and come back with some gusto and, you know, I think that's going to be a mistake though."
UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit takes place Saturday, November 17 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
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