This Saturday, the UFC will be in Quebec, in the French-speaking part of Canada, to set the Bell Centre alight from the excitement surrounding the main event, a welterweight-title tilt pitting hometown king Georges Saint-Pierre against interim champion Carlos Condit.
But that isn’t the only match-up of interest on the UFC 154 card. GRACIEMAG.com took a look at the four fights that may bear lessons for alert Jiu-Jitsu fans. Watch the weigh-ins here, and be sure to tune in to the following five match-ups tomorrow:
1. Georges Saint-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit
It’s not the main event for nothing. Undefeated in five years, Canada’s GSP returns to the octagon after a long layoff due to two injured knees—and against one of the burliest fighters of the new generation right off the bat. Trained in MMA by Greg Jackson and in Jiu-Jitsu by Caio Terra, Carlos Condit will want to keep the fight standing and pick away at GSP throughout, to shock the world with a win. “GSP is the true champion. An interim belt doesn’t mean anything,” Condit tends to humbly say. Now at last Wednesday’s press conference, Saint-Pierre reminded everyone that it’s a simple question: “Condit’s the best in the division at the moment. I need to prove that I’m still the best in the world, it’s that simple.” Condit has promised to test every facet of GSP’s game. Will or won’t this fight catch fire?
Our prediction: GSP by decision
2. Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov
Curious that the UFC 154 card brings Canada’s Ivan Menjivar. After all, the slugger now holding a record of 24w and 9l was the first opponent of GSP’s career, back in June 2002 at UCC 7. Ivan has been around the block, entered and left the UFC, and returned again in April 2011, facing Charlie Valencia at UFC 129, in Toronto, Canada. The result was a spectacular knockout and the start of a three-fight winning streak, until losing to Mike Easton last July. The Jiu-Jitsu brown belt with the savvy Thai boxing skills will be taking on Azamat “Tough Guy” Cashimov (7w, 1l), a sambo fighter, this Saturday.
Our prediction: Ivan Menjivar
3. Rafael dos Anjos vs. Mark Bocek
With back-to-back wins, the black belt Rafael dos Anjos has been causing excitement among the fans—knockouts, a healthy arsenal of takedowns and his first-rate Jiu-Jitsu make for good entertainment. This time around he’ll be taking on local boy Mark Bocek, also a Jiu-Jitsu black belt, who in 15 fights has come up with seven finishes. Ready for a riveting affair? That’s what we’re expecting too.
Our prediction: Rafael dos Anjos
4. Sam Stout vs. John Makdessi
Here’s a promising lightweight scrap. Sam Stout is coming off a win over Spencer Fisher, while John Makdessi has suffered back-to-back losses and will need to unleash his fists and knees. Don’t blink.
Our prediction: Sam Stout
5. Antonio Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm
A Canadian-born featherweight and black belt, Antonio “Pato” Carvalho is coming off a win over Daniel Pineda, but he has the warrior Rodrigo Damm ahead of him. A wrestler and top-tier Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Damm is looking to make some noise in the UFC.
Our prediction: Rodrigo Damm
Now, who’ve you got winning? Got a hunch as to who will be winning Submission of the Night honors? Comment below.
Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada
November 17, 2012
Georges St-Pierre vs Carlos Condit
Martin Kampmann vs Johny Hendricks
Rafael dos Anjos vs Mark Bocek
Patrick Côté vs Alessio Sakara
Nick Ring vs Costa Philippou
Mark Hominick vs Pablo Garza
Francis Carmont vs Tom Lawlor
Sam Stout vs John Makdessi
Rodrigo Damm vs Antonio Carvalho
Cyrille Diabate vs Chad Griggs
Stephen Thompson vs Besam Yousef
Ivan Menjivar vs Azamat Gashimov