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Georges St-Pierre (c) v. Carlos Condit (ic)
Doctor Law: He’s finally back. Georges St-Pierre returns to the cage for the first time since him and Jake Shields bored 70,000 Canadians for 5 rounds 19 months ago. To recap: GSP was supposed to fight Nick Diaz in October 2011 at UFC 137, but Nick got pulled from that fight because he got high and lost in Stockton. Condit stepped in for Diaz, but GSP had to pull out due to a hamstring injury (you owe us all $80 GSP). Then, Diaz called him a bunch of mean names after whooping BJ Penn’s ass and GSP decided he wanted to fight him at UFC 143. However, injured hamstring was actually torn ACL so GSP pulled out of that fight and Condit was given a decision over Diaz for the belt. Condit then sat on his ass for 9 months. Alright, let’s be real folks; if GSP wasn’t coming off of injury, no one would give Condit a chance and quite frankly…I still don’t think he has one. On the Countdown show they were talking about how “elite” Condit’s BJJ is. Please note that when Nick Diaz got him down it took him all of 8 seconds to take his back. GSP takes this and it won’t be close. GSP by 4th round TKO.
Kid Presentable: Why did Condit get an interim belt? Like they say, you aren't really the champ until you've defended it, oh wait... that's right Mr. Condit. Clearly no fan of the Natural Born Killer since his fight with Nick Diaz, I see this fight going for the returning champion. The Prime Time show has served to focus on GSP's road to recovery from an ACL tear and how GSP might be a shell of himself. GSP is one of the hardest working fighters in the biz though, and my guess is that he will return and look as strong as ever. Hype this fight however you need to, but in my mind I see this fight so clearly in the favor of GSP. People forget how good Georges can be on the feet, and that it is exactly what he made his name on. GSP's aptitude for wrestling made most people forget about what his background really is, but that is OK because Condit has very porous takedown defense. I think GSP will not only return to form, but I think GSP finally will have the drive to pursue the finish here. I expect and hope for a thrashing. But more importantly, the corners will both be Greg Jackson free. GSP by TKO round 3.
Lavender Gooms: It's great to have GSP back in the octagon. He is a martial artist in every sense of the word and normally everyone would have no problem picking him to beat Condit handily. But this fight isn't happening in a vacuum and GSP is returning from a year and a half lay off because of a knee injury. So the question on everyone's mind is how will GSP look in his first fight back? Has a chink appeared in armor of the Canadian GOAT? Personally I think GSP attacked his rehab with the same dedication he shows his craft and he'll be better than ever. His game plan for this fight will be similar to his fight against Alves, who was also a very dangerous striker. He'll keep out of the way of any dangerous strikes, secure the takedown when he can and control the stand up. GSP by Unanimous decision.
Picking St-Pierre: All of us
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Doctor Law: The winner of this fight is going to be #1 contender of the welterweight divison. Well…kinda. If GSP beats Condit, most signs point to him taking on Anderson Silva in a superfight in early to mid-2013. Also, there is this guy coming back from suspension in February named Nick Diaz who may have something to say about who gets the next shot. My guess is that the winner of this fight has the honor of being the guy Nick Diaz fights while everybody waits for GSP to come back from fighting Anderson. Anyways, this is a pretty interesting matchup. You have Kampmann, who does everything pretty well, against Hendricks, who does exactly two things well. If you stop Hendricks from taking you down and from hitting you with the big overhand left, you’re probably going to win. Unless your name is Koscheck and Doctor Law has money on you (Hendricks owes me $462.75). Martin is really the whole package and I think he finds a way to get it done here. Kampmann by 3rd round TKO.
Kid Presentable: This fight is for the interim... wait I mean #1 contendership. So really, WHY did Condit get a belt exactly? Hendricks was initially wanting to simple wait out for his earlier promised title shot, but I think at least somewhere along the way Dana realized this entire division shouldn't just take the year off. Hendricks star mostly comes from his immediate Kraken unleashing on Jon Fitch, but I really don't buy into it yet. Hendicks is basically the new, well more like version 1.2 of Josh Koscheck. Good wrestler, strong overhand. Kampmann has long been one of the most underappreciated guys in the division, possessing a complete MMA game. Terrible judging is the only thing keeping Martin from having an even more impressive run right now. Sure Kampmann has a tendency to get hit, but with a far superior technical standup and very strong takedown defense, Kampmann will find his spots throughout this fight. I look for Kampmann to drop Hendricks, take the fight to the ground and finish with a choke. Kampmann by submission round 2.
DJ Mark with a “K”: Personally I’ve been pretty high on Hendricks and have downplayed Kampmann but I think I’ll finally turning around on Kampmann. While Hendricks has all the momentum in his favor I think Kampmann is a really tough fight for him. If Hendricks can’t get Kampmann down he’s going to have a tough time on his feet. Factor in Kampmann’s cardio and I think he has enough factors in his favor to get the W here. Kampmann TKO 3rd round 2:12
Lavender Gooms: Crazy implications for this fight. If there's no superfight for GSP, whoever wins gets the next shot at GSP. If there is a superfight...well this is just another fight isn't it? This is a hard fight to pick. While Kampmann has superior striking technique, Hendricks has wrestling and a distinct edge in power. I love Kampmann's polished technique, he has shown a penchant for getting hit and that is not a flaw you want to have when fighting someone with gorilla strength like Hendricks. While I can see Kampmann taking this fight to decision, it's completely possible Kampmann gets caught early. Even so I think Kampmann has learned his lesson (i.e. the Thiago Alves fight), will keep his hands up, not get his bell rung and earn a decision. Kampmann by decision.
Picking Kampmann: All of us
Francis Carmont v. Tom Lawlor
Doctor Law: Francis Carmont has been straight murking people since joining the UFC. He finished both Karlos Vemola and Magnus HisLastNameDoesntMatter by rear naked choke in his last two fights. In his first UFC fight, a fight that all four of us attended, Carmont hit Chris Camozzi with a pump handle slam. Seriously…look at that slam. Tom Lawlor is best known for some really cool entrances. Pump handle slam v. cool entrances. Yeah…Carmont by TKO round 2.
Kid Presentable: This fight is going to be the next step up for the president of the young, black and jacked club, Francis Carmont. Carmont is a tremendous athlete who has relied on being able to overpower so in his ascent as a prospect. Lawlor is a good test and recognizable name for Camont to see if he is ready to start climbing toward the top 10 of the division. Carmont has shown some holes as well in both his stand up, and limited ability from the bottom. Lawlor is known more for having the best entrances in the UFC rather than being that relevant of a fighter. For no reason at all really other than I like him, I am going to say lightning strikes twice and Lawlor will manage to land one on Carmont and secure the upset. Lawlor by KO round 1.
DJ Mark with a “K”: Opps, looks like my sources are incorrect here, this isn’t a main card fight… oh what’s that, this is on the main card? UFC is charging to see this fight? Alright… now don’t get me wrong here, I actually like both these guys it just doesn’t seem right to be charging people to see this. Never the less it should be a decent scrap, both guys are riding high coming off finishing wins. I think Lawlor needs the W more and might be able to get it if he plays it safe and gets it to the ground and roughs up Carmont. However Carmont is no joke and has a ton of momentum on his side. I’m going with Lawlor because I think he has the skills to get the W and personally I like his entrances. Lawlor decision.
Lavender Gooms: I love Lawlor's sense of flash and entrances, something I think is sorely missing from the UFC. However, Carmont who trains at Tri-Star with GSP, has been impressive in his last few fights and should have the advantage in every area the fight can go. Lawlor only chance would be to grit out a decision but I doubt that. Carmont will take Lawlor to the ground, soften him up and finish it on the ground. Carmont by submission in 3rd.
Picking Carmont: Dr. Law, Gooms
Picking Lawlor: Kid P, DJ Mark
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Doctor Law: Holy crap Nick Ring is a boring. Every single one of his fights has been a snoozer. If only people could find footage of the time he beat the crap out of some muggers in Canada. Philippou…Christ. I can’t even pretend to care about this fight. I’m going with the Greek guy. Philippou by decision.
Kid Presentable: If you like uneventful standup with occasional takedowns, have I got a fighter for you! The Promise Ring is always good for a sound byte here and there, but when it comes to exciting fights, isn't anywhere near the top of the list. This being a main card fight must be on the shoulders of Philippou, who is always a game boxer, full of piss and vinegar. Earlier he was just filled with vinegar. Philippou has proved to struggle with fighters with solid takedowns and solid top control. I see a so-so fight with some moments of excitement, but more moments of nothing. This is the bathroom break folks. Ring by decision.
DJ Mark with a “K”: Philippou has really grown on me during his last couple of fights. He’s a gritty hard hitter and I think it might be too much for Ring to handle. Ring is very well rounded and he could be able to swing this fight in his favor if he can get it to the mat and rough up Philippou and work for a submission. I’m expecting Philippou to keep it standing for the most part and land hard shots on Ring. Philippou 1st round TKO 4:02
Lavender Gooms: Much like Notre Dame and Oregon this year, Ring and Philippou have battled and beaten the same opponents. However, Philippou has been more impressive in beating those same opponents. Philippou has the advantage in power and could end this fight early if he catches Ring. Philippou by TKO in 2nd
Picking Ring: Kid P
Picking Philippou: Dr. Law, DJ Mark, Gooms
Mark Hominick v. Pablo Garza
Doctor Law: This fight has a good chance of being Fight of the Nights. I don’t think Hominick has ever been in a bad fight and Garza has enough holes in his game to insure that we see some violence tonight. I really don’t have a dog in this fight, but I hope Hominick gets it done. Stefan (Kid Presentable) is a big Hominick fan and will surely be upset if “the Machine” doesn’t get it done. DJ Mark tells me that when Stefan gets upset, he becomes a really bad roommate. He takes really long sadness baths and makes Marc late for stuff. Hominick by 1st round TKO.
Kid Presentable: This is probably the second most compelling fight for me after the main card. Hominick survived the dreaded three loss streak that normally results in you getting the pink slip and really needs to bounce back here. Since giving Jose Aldo the toughest test of his career, Hom has fallen on hard times but, I think he rights that ship here (or I am just wrong for a third straight time). The Machine always brings an exciting fight though, and Garza is a very game fighter, but as always Hom SHOULD have a technical standup advantage by far. Rise of the Machines, the non sucky movie version, by TKO round 2.
DJ Mark with a “K”: Hominick needs to win this fight. Garza does too but a loss here for Hominick probably means he gets cut from the UFC. While I think this could be an awesome technical stand up fight I think it’d be in Hominicks best interest to get this one on the mat and use his underrated ground skills to get a submission. Garza been known to get caught and I think it’s Hominick’s best chance at getting a W. Hominick by submission second round 3:13 (some choke, RNC maybe).
Lavender Gooms: By rule I normally enjoy matches with fighters 145 or under. While I feel that losing for the third time in a row won't spell walking papers for Hominick, he'll still be fighting with some desperation to avoid a three fight losing streak. Hominick is the better striker and will allow him to control the ring and dictate the pace. This should be a fairly large mismatch and make for a possibly quick match. Hominick by TKO in 1st
Picking Hominick: All of us