"What I realized the most is how much I missed it. It's like when you're in love with your girlfriend. When you're with her, sometimes you don't realize you love that person but when you're away for a long time, you realize you love that person, you miss her," UFC Welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre
UFC president Dana White has been so busy building buzz for a hypothetical super fight between Middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre that fans can be forgiven for looking past one of the biggest Welterweight fights in years: GSP vs. Carlos Condit at UFC 154.
The UFC is desperate to build buzz and get ticket sales, TV ratings and pay-per-view buys back on the upswing. That's why Dana and co. are obsessing about potential "move the needle" fights for 2013. But it's not some inexplicable mystery why UFC 154 hasn't been getting more heat and anticipation from fans and pundits. Here are the four reasons the fight isn't being anticipated with more fervor:
- GSP who?
Fans have forgotten GSP. Well they've forgotten the exciting fighter that thrilled UFC fans from 2004 to 2009. That GSP, the man who could finish fights in all manner of ways, hasn't been seen in years. Instead we've had "Greg Jackson's GSP" a fighter who seemingly is content to coast to 5 round decision wins rather than taking risks and going for the finish.
Making matters worse, even that version of GSP hasn't been seen since early 2011 due to a series of knee injuries and a surgery late last year to repair his ACL.
- It wasn't just GSP, Condit and the whole division took a year off
Not only that, but because the UFC doesn't require its "interim champions" like Carlos Condit to defend the belt, the whole division took a holiday for the greater part of 2012 since Condit beat Nick Diaz at UFC 137 in February, we've not had a 170 pound fight heading up a card.
- No Nick Diaz
Whether it was Greg Jackson's tedious game planning, controversial judging or the cruel cruel vagaries of drug testing fans are not getting to see THE Welterweight fight they want to see: GSP against former Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz. The volatile stoner couldn't convince 3 judges he beat Condit in February and that's probably for the best since he couldn't pass a piss test after the fight either.
That's no knock on the highly skilled Condit, just a reality of modern marketing. Diaz may or may not be the better fighter, but he's without doubt the more compelling public figure.
- Is that a hint of super fights in the air?
UFC president Dana White has been busy doing what he does best -- stirring up buzz and intrigue about upcoming fights. Unfortunately he's been hyping a fight that might not even happen, GSP vs Anderson Silva, instead of GSP vs. Condit.