By Jaime C. Feal
In his hometown of Montreal, before a sold out crowd at the Bell Centre, Georges St. Pierre avoided a big scare in Round 3 to earn a unanimous decision and unify the welterweight title. In the co-main event, Johny Hendricks made a huge statement by knocking out Martin Kampmann in under a minute. With the big win, Hendricks is firmly entrenched as the #1 contender in the welterweight division.
Starting off the main card was a featherweight matchup where Canadian striker Mark “The Machine” Hominick locked horns with Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza. Hominick started off strong, hurting Pablo Garza to the body and pouncing looking for a finish. Much to the dismay of the partisan crowd, however, Garza was able to get back up, and open up a cut under Hominick’s eye with strikes. From that point on the fight completely turned in Garza’s favor. Garza outstruck Hominick in Rounds 2 and 3, in addition to utilizing takedowns and top control, to earn a unanimous decision victory.
The second fight of the main card was supposed to be a middleweight fight between Nick Ring and Costa Philippou. UFC officials had to scramble when Nick Ring became too ill after cutting a significant amount of weight, and the commission would not clear him to fight. The promotion decided to move up an undercard fight pitting Canadian lightweight Mark Bocek against Brazilian Rafael Dos Anjos. Bocek did not respond well to the main card pressure, as he wilted under the pace put on him by Dos Anjos. Bocek was never really in the fight, getting dominated by crisp punches and leg kicks. Dos Anjos was also able to take Bocek down at will and control him on the ground. In the end, the judges all agreed, 30-27 for Rafael Dos Anjos, who is slowly but surely moving up the lightweight ladder.
Middleweight Division (185 lbs.):
Francis “Limitless” Carmont (19-7, 3-0 UFC) vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (8-4, 4-3 UFC)
Lawlor pushes Carmont to the cage and begins working dirty boxing. Lawlor trying to tire Carmont out. “Limitless” lands a knee to the midsection. Lawlor working for a single. Carmont defends, but still on the cage. Carmont spins to the dominant position on the cage, but Lawlor reverses it right back. Ref questionably separates them, Carmont lands some good kicks. Lawlor goes for a takedown but Carmont defends well. Lawlor pressing Carmont on the cage, but “Limitless” going for a standing kimura. Lawlor gets out of it, the middleweights again struggle on the cage. Back in the center of the cage, Carmont landing good leg kicks. Lawlor gets a guillotine and pulls guard, the choke is pretty tight. Carmont escapes and lands an elbow as the round ends. 10-9 round for Carmont.
Lawlor lands a straight left. Carmont with a straight right down the pipe. Lawlor clinches but eats a hard knee to the body. Carmont with a leg kick, but eats another straight left from the southpaw Lawlor. “Filthy” Tom back to dirty boxing on the cage. They break, and Carmont back to leg kicks, but Lawlor having some success with punches. Close round. Nice combination from Lawlor, shoots for a takedown but is stuffed. Finally Lawlor drags Carmont down and is in full guard. Lawlor landing some light ground and pound. Carmont gets up, Lawlor lands two hard knees while he does so. Carmont again dragged down. Lawlor looking to pass into half guard. Carmont looking for a triangle, nothing there. Lawlor passes to side control. Lawlor trying for a guillotine, pulls guard. Twenty seconds left, probably not enough time to finish. Round ends. 10-9 round for Lawlor.
Carmont with a powerful kick. Lawlor missing his punches. Flying knee to the body by Carmont. Lawlor again presses him against the cage. Carmont forced to defend the takedown. Ref breaks them for inactivity. Nice right hook from Carmont, followed by an inside leg kick. Knee to the body by Carmont. Halfway through the final round, again Filthy Tom trying the clinch work on the cage. Lawlor goes for a takedown, doesn’t get it, lands a nice right hook. Carmont misses a couple uppercuts, but lands a body kick. Carmont landing a variety of kicks. Lawlor with a good left hand. Carmont briefly winds up on top in a scramble, the fight ends. 10-9 round for Carmont.
The judges score the fight 29-28 Carmont, 29-28 Lawlor, and 29-28 for the winner by split decision, Francis “Limitless” Carmont.
Welterweight Division (170 lbs.):
Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann (20-5, 11-4 UFC) vs. Johny “Big Rig” Hendricks (13-1, 8-1 UFC)
Kampmann has a couple high kicks blocked. The southpaw Hendricks rushes in with three hellacious left hands but Kampmann deftly backs away from them all. Hendricks reloads and rushes in with a right hook that misses, but the thunderous straight left behind it connects clean. Kampmann falls lifelessly on his bac,k and Hendricks pounces with a left hand kill shot, the ref rushing in to save Kampmann from further damage. “Big Rig” with another spectacular one-punch KO.
Johny “Big Rig” Hendricks wins by Knockout at 0:46 of Round 1.
UFC Welterweight Championship (170 lbs.):
Georges “Rush” St. Pierre (22-2, 16-2 UFC) vs. Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit (28-5, 5-1 UFC)
GSP quickly takes the center of the Octagon. Condit circling the outside. Condit with a leg kick as GSP punches. St. Pierre looking to jab. GSP misses with a couple rights. Outside leg kick for GSP. Condit with an outside leg kick, misses with a front kick. GSP throws an outside leg kick, but Condit checks it. Condit with a jab, GSP with a better jab. GSP shoots for a takedown and gets it. Condit locks up full guard. St. Pierre working light ground and pound. Condit went for an armbar but quickly defended by GSP. St. Pierre passes to half guard. Good punches from St. Pierre. Condit back to full guard, GSP right back in half. St. Pierre postures up, lands a couple punches, Condit regains guard. Condit throwing his legs high looking for an armbar but nothing there. GSP starting to bully Condit now with superior strength, familiar top control from St Pierre. GSP lands a nasty elbow. Condit gets back up, and he is split wide open from the elbow. 10-9 round for St. Pierre.
Condit again backing away as he did in the Diaz fight, not going to work with GSP’s forward pressure. Condit finally tries to move forward, but noting there. Good jab from St. Pierre. Sick right hand from St. Pierre, Condit rattled, not looking confident. Condit misses a one-two. Stiff jab from St. Pierre. Condit lands his first meaningful punches of the fight. Good left hook to the body from Condit. GSP cracks him with a straight right. The cut over Condit’s eye has reopened, he is also bleeding from the nose. Condit misses a spinning back fist and a front kick. Condit throws a leg kick, and before he finishes even throwing it GSP is deep on a takedown. GSP nails the takedown with ease. St. Pierre in half guard working on the cut, split wide open. GSP lands a big left hands. Condit is a mess, blood all over the canvas. GSP finishes up the round with more ground and pound, Condit gets up. They trade but neither lands, round ends. 10-9 round for St. Pierre.
Condit lands a light body kick. GSP with a good jab and inside leg kick. Condit misses with a one-two, and it looks like he’s finished with the combo. St. Pierre seizes the “opportunity,” but Condit has a huge left head kick coming behind it. It lands right on the side of the head and GSP crumbles. Condit pounces and GSP is in all sorts of trouble. Condit turning up the ground and pound, looking for the finish. St. Pierre is not out, desperately trying to lock Condit up and maintain guard. St. Pierre’s head is badly swollen from the kick, now he eats leg kicks. GSP finally gets up, took a look of punishment. Condit lands a stiff jab. What a war this turned into. GSP lands a combo and takes Condit down! Wow, crowd goes wild. Condit throwing his legs up looking for a submission. GSP is visibly hurt still from the kick, a hematoma is developing on his head. Condit briefly gets up, GSP gets him back down. St. Pierre landing some ground and pound, Condit almost sweeps him, but cannot. St. Pierre passes to half guard. Ten seconds to go in one of the most amazing rounds in MMA history, GSP won the end, but Condit did way more damage. 10-9 round for Condit.
Condit again tries a left head kick, barely misses. GSP tries to respond with a right head kick, blocked. St. Pierre throws some punches, beautifully transitions to a takedown. St. Pierre passes to half guard, starts to punch. Condit gives up side control, then regains half guard. GSP landing the more significant strikes on top. Condit targeting the swelling on St. Pierre’s head. Good right hand from GSP. More punches from the bottom by Condit. Good elbow from GSP. Condit gets guard, goes for submissions. GSP is able to escape both a kneebar and triangle attempt. St. Pierre back in half guard now. Condit regains guard, wall walks back to his feet. Condit gets taken down but lands a nice reversal. GSP with an incredible takedown from an awkward position. St. Pierre’s wrestling saved him from being on his back there. GSP lands some more punches, takes the back of Condit as the round ends. 10-9 round for St. Pierre.
St. Pierre with an outside leg kick. GSP with another leg kick, much harder this time. Condit lands a nice spinning back kick to the body. GSP gets a takedown but Condit gets up. GSP lands a nice straight right hand. Condit responds with a decent one of his own. Condit coming forward now more than he has the entire fight, despite looking completely gassed in between rounds. What heart, what a war. Midway through the final round. Good jab from GSP. St. Pierre takes down Condit again. GSP passes to side control, looking for a head-and-arm choke. St. Pierre bails on the choke, goes back to striking. Condit tried to get up and gave up his back. Condit rolls out, but GSP back in guard. St. Pierre landing some big elbows. Thirty seconds left. GSP turning up the intensity of the strikes. St. Pierre finishes strong with ground and pound. 10-9 round for St. Pierre.
The judges score the fight 49-46, 50-45, and 50-45 for the winner by unanimous decision, and still the undisputed UFC welterweight champion, Georges “Rush” St. Pierre.