UFC 154 - St-Pierre vs. Condit Betting Odds

The premier fight at UFC 154 will be none other than Georges St-Pierre vs Carlos Condit. The event will be hosted at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and will be a showdown to decide the UFC Welterweight Champion. St-Pierre was the reigning Welterweight Champion but he was diagnosed with an ACL tear during training nearly a year ago. With St-Pierre out the interim Welterweight belt was up for grabs in a fight between top contenders Carlos Condit and Nick Dias. Dias was favored to win the fight but took a beating at the hands of Condit on February 4, 2012 during UFC 143. The fight was a unanimous decision for Condit and since then he has been waiting and preparing for this inevitable battle with the legendary GSP.

On December 29th, 2007 GSP took the title from Matt Hughes in a dominate Round Two submission at UFC 79. St-Pierre then defended his title in an astounding 7 fights in a row. He was undefeated for four years before he found out he had torn his right ACL. He was scheduled to fight Condit in October, 2011 at UFC 137 but at the beginning of October he suffered the ACL tear and was forced to back out.

Determined not to let this injury ruin his life he sought out renowned rehab specialists Sport Science Lab in south California to get him back to fight status. Sport Science Lab is where all the best NFL players go after they’ve sustained the same injury which is quite common in the NFL. As a result of hard work and a knowledgeable support staff GSP has pushed himself back into what he hopes will be championship condition. Still training in Montreal, St-Pierre looks confident he can return to the Octagon to reclaim title and restore the glory he once knew.

Carlos Condit trains out of Albuquerque, New Mexico under the guidance of coach and kickboxing great Mike Winkeljohn. While with Winkeljohn Condit has yet to lose a fight; in fact, Condit has won his past five fights in the UFC (6-1 in the UFC). Condit is undeniably the best man to be holding the interim UFC Welterweight belt. Next he has to prove he beat the legend, GSP.

St-Pierre is favored to win this fight at -350 and Condit is listed at +265.

GSP’s profile lists his strengths as takedowns and striking with a notable role for submissions. He has won his past nine fights with 6 unanimous decisions, 2 TKOs and one submission. He lands 53% of the strikes he throws, 56% from standing and 37% from the ground. He is known for his high takedown rate with 77% of attempts being successful. But just landing strikes and scoring takedowns does not make a champion. GSP has made a career out of intelligent fighting. His ability to know his opponent and defend himself actually outdoes his offensive statistics. St-Pierre has avoided 76% of the strikes thrown at him and defended 88% of takedown attempts from opponents. The result is huge strike numbers each fight relative to his opponent. And given that GSP lands only about 53% of his strikes, you know he brings the fury into the octagon.

Condit’s style is very different that St-Pierre’s, but perhaps equally successful, we will soon see. During his 6-1 UFC career, Condit has had 3 TKOs, one unanimous decision, one split decision victory and one split decision loss. His strength is by far his submission abilities. During his time in the WEC, Condit had 4 submission victories and a TKO victory. Takedowns are his weakest attribute but his striking skills are fairly good but not as effective as GSP. He lands 43% of his strikes and mainly these come from standing and with very little at the mat. He will negotiate 58% of his takedowns and, like GSP, is good with his passing. Defense is not outstanding but reports say Condit has been working hard on this. He can be expected to block 61% of strikes and only 47% of takedowns (likely his height is his disadvantage here).

Condit is 6’ 2” weighing 170lbs at age 28. GSP is 31 at a height of 5’ 11” and also 170lbs. Clearly the odds makers believe that GSP has recovered from his surgery and is ready to move onwards and upwards. By the numbers, and if you have seen GSP fight, St-Pierre has always looked like the better fighter. Given that St-Pierre at one point during his recovery considered calling UFC head Dana White to cancel this fight but didn’t, one must wonder how far along his recover is. Will he be perfect? Likely not yet. But will he be good enough? Probably. St-Pierre has fought many great fighters over the years and Condit, while accomplished has not fought the same number or pedigree of opponents.

If there is reason to think that Condit can beat GSP it is in the result of each fighter’s bout with Dan Hardy. In March 2010, Hardy, a tremendous striker, was beaten up by GSP for five rounds and the fight ended in a unanimous decision for GSP. In October 2010 when Hardy fought Condit, Condit beat Hardy in striking in the first round and he knocked him out in the first round. Hardy has a 51% striking defense rating, which might suggest that Condit’s striking is more capable than the numbers suggest. But the bottom line is that GSP is a legend and the onus on Condit to prove himself.

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