GSP has been out of the ring for 19 months. Will he have ring rust? I think so. Condit is the Natural Born Killer. His only UFC loss was in his UFC debut. Since then, Condit has KO’d Rory MacDonald (FOTN), Dan Hardy (KOTN), and Kim Dong Hyun (KOTN). His decision over Nick Diaz was so-so, but it earned him the interim welterweight title. Will Condit continue to wear the belt after UFC 154, or will he just be keeping it warm for GSP’s return? I like GSP a lot, but his last few victories have all been via split decision, and he has been injured. His last good fight was in 2009, when he KO’d BJ Penn to defend his welterweight title. I see GSP fighting through the rust and earning a hard-fought decision.
Welterweight bout – Martin Kampmann (20-5) vs Johny Hendricks (13-1)
Dutch fighter Kampmann has victories over Jake Ellenberger (KOTN), Thiago Alves (FOTN), and Rick Story following a loss against Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields. American fighter Hendricks has victories over Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch (KOTN, 12-second KO), and two nobodies named Pierce and Waldburger (KOTN). His last loss was to Rick Story before those wins. Neither is a standout fighter, so I will root for the American, hopefully via KO.
Middleweight (185 lb) bout – Francis Carmont (19-7) vs Tom Lawlor (8-4-1)
The French-Canadian Carmont has rattled off 8 successive wins against nobodies, but has turned in some good submission victories. Lawlor, on the other hand, has been up and down in his middleweight bouts, alternating wins and losses. His notable victories are against Jason MacDonald, Patrick Cote, and CB Dollaway. His losses have come against a mix of good and average fighters. I think Carmont will submit Lawlor for the win.
Middleweight bout – Nick Ring (13-1) vs Costa Phillipou (11-2)
Canadian fighter Nick Ring’s only loss has come against Tim Boetsch. I really cannot name any of the fighters that Ring has beaten. Greek Cypriot fighter Costa Phillipou’s only UFC loss came in a catchweight bout at 195, and his victories have looked much like Ring’s. Phillipou’s striking us much cleaner than Ring’s, so I expect a late TKO from the Greek.
Featherweight (145 lb) bout – Mark Hominick (20-11) vs Pablo Garza (11-3)
Canadian fighter Mark Hominick is as tough as they come. He has looked good in victory and defeat, and has shown that he can take a pounding just as well as Kobe Tai does in her Adam and Eve films. He needs to win this one to avoid a 4-match losing streak. American fighter Pablo Garza has some good submission wins, and some ugly submission losses. I can see this fight going either way, but I will look for a decision win from Hominick to avoid getting cut by the UFC.
Preliminary bouts (FX and Facebook)
- Middleweight bout on FX – Patrick Cote over Alessio Sakara via TKO. Both of these fighters used to be on the main card at one time. These has-beens need to turn in a good fight in order to get back to the main card. I think we may see a good KO in the first round.
- Light heavyweight bout on FX – Cyrille Diabate over Chad Griggs via TKO. Diabate has a kickboxing win over Michael Bisping, and decent losses against Mauricio Rua and Alexander Gustafsson. This is Griggs’ debut at light heavyweight. Look for Diabate to knock Griggs back to the fatty division.
- Lightweight bout on FX – Mark Bocek over Rafael dos Anjos via decision. Both of these fighters have losses against good fighters, but neither have notable victories. I see a decision here. Flip a coin. I pick the American. Ameri-cuh! **** yeah!
- Lightweight bout on FX – Sam Stout over John Makdessi via decision. Sam Stout used to be a stud in the WEC. He has been on both ends of the FOTN and KOTN honors. Makdessi missed weight in two successive fights. Look for Stout to grind out a boring decision win over Makdessi. Place a bet as to whether or not Makdessi makes weight.
- Featherweight bout – Antonio Carvalho over Rodrigo Damm via decision.
- Bantamweight bout – Ivan Menjivar over Azamat Gashimov via TKO.
- Middleweight bout – Matt Riddle over John Maguire via decision.
- Featherweight bout – Darren Elkins over Steven Siler via decision.
Random thought: I cannot wait until I see Ronda Rousey snapping some poor girl’s arm again! Look for her to fight sometime this spring, assuming the UFC can find some
sucker female fighter to take her on. How about a rematch with Miesha Tate?