Georges St-Pierre, Carlos Condit both deferring to rival before UFC 154 welterweight showdown (Yahoo! Sports)


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

When Georges St-Pierre starts rolling, there is no stopping him.

The UFC welterweight champion has been out for 18 months and he insists that Carlos Condit, the man who won the interim belt in his absence, is the division's "real" champion.

"Look at the guy, what he's done," St-Pierre said. "He's been fighting and winning against all the great fighters. That's what the champion does."

Condit, though, who fights St-Pierre in the main event of UFC 154 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, doesn't feel much like a champion. The UFC pitted Condit against Nick Diaz for the interim title at UFC 143 back in February, when it was clear St-Pierre's injured knee wouldn’t be ready. Condit executed a perfect gameplan in the fight, dissecting Diaz for a unanimous decision win to earn the interim belt.

So, in a way, Saturday's bout will be a unification bout, though the interim title will disappear regardless of who wins.

Condit, though, pleads with almost as much urgency as St-Pierre that his opponent is most definitely the champion.

"This is Georges' title," Condit said. "He's the undisputed champion, no doubt about it. Georges has been so dominant for so long. To be the champion, you have to do one thing: You have to beat Georges St-Pierre. I haven't done that yet."

Condit has a brilliant record – he's 28-5 overall and 14-1 in the last 6½ years, with only a highly controversial split-decision loss marring his record in that time – but he ascribes to the theory that to be the man, you must beat the man.

Still, not long after he upset Diaz to win the interim title, other fighters began to call him out. Ever the competitor, Condit was eager to jump into the cage and prove who was boss. It took manager Malki Kawa to talk some sense into him.

"At the level these guys are at, you're not supposed to turn down fights," Kawa said. "But I wouldn't have been doing my job if I just put Carlos in there against someone other than Georges St-Pierre. You fight Georges St-Pierre and you make life-changing money. A guy like Johny Hendricks, and I am not disrespecting him at all, but it's a fight where the money isn't even close to the same.

"Fighters were calling him out and Carlos wanted to do it. I had to tell him, 'Carlos, look, this is a business and the best move business-wise is to wait for GSP to come back.' He finally did, but the guy is such a competitor, and he loves to fight so much, he was willing to risk a GSP fight to take some other one in between."

[Related: Watch UFC 154 live on Yahoo! Sports]

St-Pierre is better than a 3-1 favorite to beat Condit, despite the lengthy layoff. All the attention is on St-Pierre's return from a devastating right knee injury.

Condit, as seems often the case, is getting lost in the shuffle. It happened when he fought Dan Hardy in England, at least until he knocked Hardy out. It happened prior to his fight with Dong-Hyun Kim, whom Condit knocked out with a flying knee in the first. And, of course, it happened when he fought Diaz for the interim title and was virtually ignored in the pre-fight buildup.

It's GSP this and GSP that as Fight Night approaches, but even UFC president Dana White acknowledges that's not fair to Condit.

"I really believe a lot of people aren't giving this kid enough credit," White said. "He's tough, man. This kid can fight. He's got great ground skills, he's got knockout power and formally, if you look at the way fights are done in boxing, when a champion of GSP's caliber comes back [from injury], you usually give him an easy fight. This is far from an easy fight for Georges St-Pierre. This is a very tough fight."

Condit, though, isn't concerned with credit or fame or attention. He's a fierce competitor, and thus, just wants to win. But at the end of the day, to Condit, he's just like a guy wearing a suit and tie who goes to an office every day.

[Also: Ronda Rousey headlines women headed to the UFC]

This is just his way of making a living and supporting his family. If that means acclaim and hoopla, he's fine with it. But he's more than happy if he doesn't get the credit he deserves.

And, in a way, he embraces the role of underdog.

"Georges is the favorite, as well he should be considering everything he has done in this sport," Condit said. "But I've been through this before. It's not new to me. Just because someone else thinks I'm going to lose, or even if everyone else thinks I'm going to lose, it doesn't matter as long as I don't believe that.

"I believe I'm going to go in there and fight my fight and beat Georges St-Pierre and walk out of there as the UFC welterweight champion of the world. To be honest with you, that's how I feel. And none of the other stuff, the talk and the hype and all of that, none of it really matters once they close the door and we start to fight."

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
K-State, Oregon on collision course?
The Miami Heat's effortless, 'ego-less' offense
Overtime rules confuse 49ers and Rams, who end game tied
Y! Shopping: Ten gadget gifts everyone wants this year

view original article >>

Related News

  • 24 days ago
  • 339 views

Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has apologized for his support of a friend who was arrested and pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking charges. more

  • 20 days ago
  • 6876 views

"Rush" left on a high note -- 12 straight wins -- a remarkable achievement that has his former nemesis a bit jealous. After defending his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title for a division-record ninth consecutive time against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in Nov. 2013, Georges St-Pierre announced that he would relinquish his title and take an indefinite leave of absence from mixed martial arts (MMA). Because according to the former champion, the pressure and his battle with obs more

  • 19 days ago
  • 183 views

Matt Hughes, who now works as a VP of Athlete Development for the UFC, thinks Georges St-Pierre should just hang up the gloves for good. Georges St-Pierre is still undecided whether he would eventually come back from his extended layoff or not, but a fellow long time UFC welterweight champion had some friendly advice for him. Matt Hughes spoke about St-Pierre, and despite now holding a VP job with the UFC, he thinks one of the promotion's biggest stars should just 'get out' and hang it up for go more

  • 8 days ago
  • 61 views

Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre spoke with Inside MMA about possibly returning to fighting and his recovery from knee surgery. more

  • 29 days ago
  • 94 views

Georges St-Pierre is the former UFC welterweight champion and is one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. St-Pierre has held the title twice and defended it a total of nine times. After a decision victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November 2013, St-Pierre decided to take "an indefinite hiatus" and vacated his welterweight title. During his time on hiatus, he managed to tear his ACL for a second time, although on a different leg than his first ACL tear. An injury like that may more

  • 24 days ago
  • 38 views

Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has released a letter explaining his recent support for a friend – one who’s also a drug kingpin currently awaiting trial for trafficking and other crimes.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 24 days ago
  • 15 views

Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has released a letter explaining his recent support for a friend – one who’s also a drug kingpin currently awaiting trial for trafficking and other crimes.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC more

  • 21 days ago
  • 34 views

Rumor has it that former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has spent some of his time away from the cage adding some extra muscle. St-Pierre first got the rumor-mill going when he posted this photo, captioned "Working on putting on some muscle mass," onto his Instagram profile: MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani later confirmed on Twitter. It turns out that current UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks doesn’t care—there’s no way he sees himself losing to St-Pierre, 200 pounds or not, for more

  • 20 days ago
  • 75 views

Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes said back in February that he'd be surprised to see fellow former champion Georges St-Pierre actually make a return to the Octagon. Now, Hughes is urging his former rival to make his competitive hiatus permanent. "The UFC would hate me saying this but I'm going to say it anyway," Hughes told Canada.com (via MMA Mania). "If I was GSP, I'd probably hang them up. Here I am a guy that lost my (last) two fights and I'd love to get back in there (to finish more