Matches to Make After UFC 154

By: Brian Knapp
Nov 18, 2012
Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva will have some interesting bouts to book following UFC 154. | Photo:

Georges St. Pierre was given precious little time to savor his first victory in 19 months, as talk inevitably shifted to a potential super fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Such is life at the top of the mountain.

St. Pierre unified the welterweight crown with a stirring unanimous decision over interim titleholder Carlos Condit in the UFC 154 main event on Saturday at the raucous Bell Centre in Montreal. The 31-year-old had not set foot in the cage as a competitor since April 2011, a career-threatening knee injury and subsequent surgery shelving him for nearly two years.

On a career-best streak of 10 consecutive wins, St. Pierre looked like his old self. He struck for takedowns in all five rounds against Condit, and opened a gnarly cut on the “Natural Born Killer” with a short elbow strike from top position in the first round. St. Pierre also answered lingering doubts regarding his resilience, as he survived an encounter with a Condit head kick in round three. It was the first time he had been knocked down since his stunning 2007 upset defeat to Matt Serra.

Though St. Pierre remained non-committal on the subject of a Silva super fight, UFC President Dana White reaffirmed his intent to put together the catchweight blockbuster. He has tentatively targeted a May date, with the bout being held at either the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, or an undisclosed soccer stadium in Brazil.

Silva has carved out a path of utter devastation since entering the Ultimate Fighting Championship six-and-a-half years ago. The 37-year-old Brazilian has won his last 17 fights, a record 16 of them inside the Octagon. Silva -- who moved up to 205 pounds to wipe out Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153 in October -- has held the UFC middleweight title for a ridiculous 2,226 days.

In the wake of UFC 154 “St. Pierre vs. Condit,” here are six other matchups that ought to be made:

Johny Hendricks vs. Nick Diaz:

Hendricks deserves a better fate, having cemented his position as the No. 1 contender at 170 pounds with his eye-popping 46-second knockout of Martin Kampmann in the co-headliner. A four-time All-American and two-time NCAA national champion wrestler at Oklahoma State University, he now lets his jackhammer of a left hand do the talking inside the cage. However, with the St. Pierre-Silva super fight a virtual certainty, Hendricks becomes the odd man out at 170 pounds, likely in need of another fight to stay sharp and relevant. Diaz will be eligible to return from suspension in February and has longed desired a crack at St. Pierre. The 29-year-old Cesar Gracie protégé has won 11 of his past 12 fights.

J. Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Condit gave it his all against GSP.

Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann:

Condit put forth a superb effort in his loss to St. Pierre, nearly finishing the longtime welterweight champion with a third-round head kick. The 28-year-old New Mexican did nothing to lower his profile in defeat and could conceivably earn another crack at St. Pierre sometime in the not-too-distant future. Condit dropped a controversial split decision to Kampmann in his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 18 in April 2009.

Francis Carmont vs. Riki Fukuda:

Carmont escaped his three-round encounter against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 alum Tom Lawlor with a split decision in a performance that raised plenty of questions about his long-term viability inside the Octagon. The 31-year-old Frenchman relied almost solely on his kicks but succumbed to a pair of takedowns from Lawlor, who also forced him to defend against two guillotine choke attempts. Still, Carmont has now posted nine consecutive victories. Fukuda won for the ninth time in 11 fights at UFC on Fuel TV 6 on Nov. 10 in China, capturing a unanimous verdict over former two-division Ring of Combat champion Tom DeBlass.

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Joe Lauzon-Jim Miller winner:

The 28-year-old dos Anjos had no trouble dispatching Mark Bocek, as he pitched the equivalent of a shutout in earning a lopsided unanimous decision over the Toronto-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Dos Anjos beat Bocek to the punch repeatedly while standing and shut down every one of his attempted takedowns, leaving the tough Canadian visibly dejected and badly damaged in the process. Lauzon and Miller will toe the line against one another at UFC 155 on Dec. 29 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Pablo Garza vs. Robbie Peralta:

Garza entered his showdown with Mark Hominick on a two-fight skid and left it with a unanimous decision victory over a former title contender. The 29-year-old North Dakotan rebounded from a first-round knockdown to dominate Hominick with takedowns and ground-and-pound over the final 10 minutes of their 145-pound duel. Peralta, 26, needed less than half a minute to dismiss Jason Young at UFC on Fuel TV 5 in September. He owns 14 finishes among his 16 professional wins, 12 of them by knockout or technical knockout.

Darren Elkins vs. Dustin Poirier-Jonathan Brookins winner:

Spawned by the same Duneland Vale Tudo camp as former WEC champion Eddie Wineland, Elkins has quietly rattled off four wins in a row since moving to 145 pounds. He made Steven Siler his latest victim, utilizing the takedowns and ground-and-pound for which he has become known. Poirier and Brookins will throw leather at one another as part of “The Ultimate Fighter 17” Finale on Dec. 15 in Las Vegas.

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