The UFC returns to Montreal, bringing another Georges St. Pierre title fight in tow. The UFC welterweight champion, after being sidelined for more than a year due to knee surgery, will meet surging interim champion (and former WEC welterweight champion) Carlos Condit. In the co-main event, another important welterweight tilt is set to take place with Danish striker Martin Kampmann going against All-American wrestler Johny Hendricks. Also on the card, two middleweight bouts to determine the next entrants into the 185lb upper echelon, and a featherweight bout between two men looking to return to winning ways. Onto the predictions...
As has been well documented, the champion has been sidelined by the lingering effects of a knee surgery. With the fight week coming to a close, we'll get to see if all that time away and rehabbing has done good things for the long time incumbent champ, and re-lit the fire under his butt, or if he gets struck with a case of ring rust. In Condit, you also have a fighter who has been on the shelf since early February of this year. Unlike St. Pierre, he has been extremely motivated and focused on the fight upcoming.
As for how the fight will physically play out, expect St. Pierre to be shocked with Condit's improving striking early, but make adjustments and dominate the fight. His wrestling and top control will be put to the test against the sweeps and submission attacks of Condit, but I expect that St. Pierre will do what he does best and grind out the decision. Something tells me that Condit might steal the thunder, but I can't bet against one of the most dominant champions in UFC history.
St. Pierre via decision.
In this welterweight bout, a future title shot is potentially up for grabs. Kampmann brings a resilient fighting style, often getting tagged early and having to dig himself out of a hole for the win. He also tends to play the game of his opponent, which has cost him decisions and a few TKO's. In Hendricks he faces an elite wrestler with one punch knockout power, and if he catches Kampmann, a short fight could be in order. Having said ALL of that however, I expect to see the most mature and strategically sound Kampmann yet, and expect him to take the victory by decision or a late TKO.
Kampmann via decision.
When he first made his UFC debut, Carmont was known as the guy who had GSP in his corner. As he enters his 4th bout into the Octagon, he's gaining notoriety for his dominant set of skills. In Lawlor, he faces a decent wrestler with a willingness to scrap, yet who is not quite at the same level. Expect Carmont to dominate the fight early and close out the show with a submission.
Carmont via submission.
Nick Ring vs. Costa Philippou
At middleweight inside the UFC, Philippou is unbeaten and riding a 4 fight win streak. With crushing striking and good takedown defense, he's a handful for any 185er. In Ring, he faces a well rounded opponent with 8 finishes in 13 wins. This fight should particularly one sided however, mostly due to Philippou's striking keeping the Canadian at bay and being able to pick his shots. That being said, if this bout goes to the judges, Ring has had some..."interesting" calls go his way. Still...
Philippou via decision.
Both men are coming in riding in losing streaks, Hominick losing his last 3 since dropping a decision to featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo, and Garza dropping 2 in a row since being stopped by top contender Dustin Poirer. Hominick brings the more impressive resume, while Garza brings unpredictability and a willingness to utilize unorthodox techniques. Hominick has taken a beating in his last 3 losses, and his time on the main card might be coming to an end, but I still expect him to utilize his superior striking to finish the "The Scarecrow."
Hominick via TKO.
Sam Stout defeats John Makdessi via Unanimous Decision.