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 >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Watch Dominick Cruz Beat Urijah Faber a Second Time (UFC 207 Free Fight) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 25 days ago
  • 36 views

Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz met longtime rival Urijah Faber in a rubber match at UFC 199 where he won via unanimous decision. Check it out! read news >>

Max Holloway will 'defend the interim title 10 times' if champ Jose Aldo isn't available

  • 17 days ago
  • 36 views

UFC interim featherweight champion Max Holloway plans to stay busy if he can’t get a title-unifier with primary titleholder Jose Aldo.Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos read news >>

Cody Garbrandt Snatches Title from Dominick Cruz (UFC 207 Highlights) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 21 views

Dominick Cruz took on heated rival Cody Garbrandt in the UFC 207 co-main event and relinquished his belt. Check out the fight highlights. read news >>

It's official: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson meet for interim 155 title in UFC 209 co-main

  • 7 days ago
  • 149 views

The rumored lightweight between highly ranked Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov now is official for UFC 209 in March, and the interim title will be on the line. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Invicta FC 21 results: Megan Anderson captures interim 145-pound title, calls out future UFC champ

  • 5 days ago
  • 118 views

“Hey, Dana White,” newly-crowned Invicta FC interim featherweight champion Megan Anderson called right after yet another victorious (and violent) display. “You tell Holly (Holm) and Germaine (de Rand read news >>

Twitter, including Conor McGregor's team, reacts to UFC 209's Nurmagomedov-Ferguson interim title bout

  • 6 days ago
  • 339 views

The UFC will introduce yet another interim title when lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson clash in UFC 209’s co-main event on March 4. Check out the reactions to the new figh read news >>

Former pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva meets Derek Brunson at UFC 208 in Brooklyn

  • 6 days ago
  • 12 views

“The Spider” returns in March. Former middleweight champ and pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva is set to fight Derek Brunson at UFC 208 in Brooklyn. Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson Announced for UFC 208

  • 6 days ago
  • 16 views

UFC President Dana White announced Friday that Anderson Silva will face Derek Brunson at UFC 208. He revealed the bout with the following tweet: UFC 208 will take place Feb. 11 at the Barclays Center read news >>

Anderson Silva Returns at UFC 208 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 6 days ago
  • 77 views

UFC president Dana White announced on Friday that former middleweight champion Anderson Silva would return to the Octagon at UFC 208. read news >>

Despite UFC debut loss, Marcin Held thinks he got a step up in competition with Joe Lauzon

  • 6 days ago
  • 13 views

MESA, Ariz. – Marcin Held isn’t looking for any gimme fights in the UFC. The promotion has made sure to oblige to that request by giving him Joe Lauzon in just his second UFC appearance.Filed under: read news >>