Photo by Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Many wondered how Georges St. Pierre would look after 19 months out of the cage. Well, he looked just as excellent as he did pre-knee injury. St. Pierre survived a major scare early in the third round and wore down Condit with takedowns and ground work to unify the UFC welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory. Condit dropped him with a huge head kick midway through the fight, but GSP recovered and came back to take the round on two cards. He also took every other round. The judges had it 49-46, 50-45, and 50-45.
GSP took the center immediately and looked to come forward. Condit did a good job of circling away early, similar to the Diaz fight. St. Pierre scored with his first takedown attempt. Condit looked for an armbar but GSP deftly avoided it. GSP landed a few punches from the top. GSP passed to half guard twice, but Condit was able to get it back to full guard both times. Condit was landing strikes from the bottom, but GSP was inflicting more damage. Condit got up just before the round ended, but he's bleeding profusely from a late GSP elbow.
GSP landed a nice jab early in the second round, and a nice glancing right. Condit wasn't able to land anything appreciable for the first two minutes, but finally opened up a bit and landed to the body. GSP responded with a nice counter though. Condit threw a kick and GSP got an immediate takedown with two minutes to go. Condit was a bloody mess while GSP methodically landed some ground and and pound. GSP let Condit up and they threw down for the last 10 seconds. GSP had a small cut under his eye.
Condit threw some wild combinations and landed a huge head kick that floored GSP. Condit looked to finish but GSP kept moving on the ground and survived. GSP got back up, but there was major swelling on his forehead. St. Pierre immediately landed a big right against the cage and took Condit down. Condit was trying to punch from the bottom, targeting the swelling on GSP's forehead. St. Pierre moved Condit against the cage and grinded away. Condit got up with a kimura, but he ended up back down for the rest of the round.
Condit landed another head kick early in the fourth, and GSP responded with one of his own before he got a takedown. Condit continued to attack from the bottom while St. Pierre worked to pass his guard. Condit looked for an armbar, then a triangle, but GSP postured out. Condit reversed briefly, but GSP got top position right back. Condit got up at the end of the round once again, but GSP took his back at the bell.
GSP hit is patented leg kick/superman punch combo early. Condit landed a nice spinning back kick to St Pierre's gut. GSP ducked a punch and got a takedown, but Condit got up immediately. Condit landed some punches that drew more blood out of a GSP cut. St. Pierre landed a big right and got a takedown. GSP tried to move to mount but Condit defended well. After taking Condit's back briefly, GSP round out the round and the fight in total control.