UFC 154: MMA Weekend Preview

After a long month, the UFC returns to PPV and Canada with a card featuring the return of one of MMA's truly great fighters.

The last time UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (22-2) fought was in April of 2011 against Jake Shields at the Rogers Centre. In that fight St. Pierre suffered an eye poke that sidelined him for some time, then after recovering from that he suffered a knee injury. The combined injuries have kept St. Pierre out of the cage for well over a year and in that time the welterweight division has undergone some serious changes.

Carlos Condit (28-5) won a close decision over Nick Diaz to become the Interim Welterweight Champion in February. It is an interesting situation, as St. Pierre and Condit have trained together under Greg Jackson. While not true teammates, St. Pierre spends the majority of his time at Tri Star gym in Montreal while Condit trains directly under Jackson in New Mexico, the two are very familiar with each other.

St. Pierre is one of the most complete fighters in the sport, with almost no weaknesses in his game. While St. Pierre originally comes from a karate background, training in the art as a child, his strongest areas are his takedowns, ground grappling, and he has recently been working hard on developing his boxing with Freddie Roach. Condit is a very aggressive fighter who looks to strike first but is more than happy to play a submission grappling game. He presents a threat to St. Pierre on his feet, but on the ground the Canadian champion is a near peerless grappler.

Another next generation welterweight is fighting on the card in Johny Hendricks (13-1), who will be taking on Danish contender Martin Kampmann (20-5). Hendricks is one of the most celebrated college wrestlers of recent memory, has powerful striking, and appears to be one of the more promising prospects in the UFC. Kampmann is a very talented and well rounded fighter who has struggled to put together a real title run, and a win over Hendricks could give the MMA veteran that much sought-after title shot.

Also on the card is American Top Team fighter Alessio Sakara (15-9). This Italian-born fighter is primarily a boxer and will be taking on Patrick Cote (17-8), a Canadian Army boxing champion. While neither fighter is a title contender, it promises to be a good midcard action fight.

Here is the full card for Nov 17th:

Main Card (PPV)

Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit
Martin Kampmann vs. Johny Hendricks
Tom Lawlor vs. Francis Carmont
Nick Ring vs. Constantinos Philippou
Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza

Preliminary Card (FX)

Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara
Cyrille Diabate vs. Chad Griggs
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Mark Bocek
Sam Stout vs. John Makdessi

Preliminary Card (Facebook)

Antonio Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm
Matt Riddle vs. John Maguire
Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov
Steven Siler vs. Darren Elkins

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