Opening Round: The End of King Georges Reign Grows Nigh

The end of an era is upon us. When dawn comes on October 30, 2011, the morning light will spread across the landscape like a New Mexico sunrise as new champion Carlos Condit sleeps contently in his bedroom a few feet away from the oversized golden beltbuckle he earned the previous evening.

It’s not a page out of your favorite sci-fi novel but it is a glimpse into the future, at least a probable one in my estimation. That’s right. I’m predicting Condit will defeat Georges St. Pierre at UFC 137 to become welterweight champion.

The 27-year old Condit possesses the perfect combination of attributes to follow in Matt Serra’s footprints by reminding the world GSP is in fact human. Or, if the popular French-Canadian is indeed “Superman” as his trademark strike might indicate, Condit is at minimum Lex Luthor and at maximum a fist-wielding meteor of kryptonite hurtling at St. Pierre’s title reign.

Here are three reasons Condit not just can but will be the UFC’s next champion:

1.) Power – There’s no question Condit has one-punch knockout power, a weapon St. Pierre lacks. Sure, “Rush” can occasionally pound an opponent into submission or out-strike an adversary to the point he’s so beaten he can’t continue, but he doesn’t have “The Stanky Leg” on his proverbial in-ring playlist. “The Natural Born Killer” packs Mickey and Mallory in each of his hands and could end GSP’s night with a single blow. He can also be aggressive knowing it is unlikely St. Pierre will do the same in return.

2.) Ground Awareness – One of St. Pierre’s primary strengths relates to grappling. He’s great at takedowns and is one of the best in the business at controlling action from the top. However, Condit is no slouch when it comes to wrestling or submissions and is arguably the better BJJ practitioner given the numerous tap-outs he can lay claim to. He’s also good from his back and has finished plenty of opponents from his back using various techniques. If he gets taken down he’ll still be attacking from the bottom rather than lost in a world he can’t handle.

3.) Intangibles – Did you know, at 6’1”, Condit is the largest foe St. Pierre has faced in his career? I didn’t either until I checked it out. He’s competed against a few six-footers but none exceeding the mark. That in itself makes me feel as though Condit won’t be pushed around by GSP’s strength as easily as someone closer in dimensions to him would.

I also think it could play to Condit’s benefit that he’s trained with St. Pierre before at Jackson’s MMA. He’ll have a familiarity with the long-standing champion his past opponents haven’t. The same will be true in return to an extent, but I’d also wager Condit studied St. Pierre more while working together based simply on their divisional standing as champion/hopeful contender.

Finally, the change in opponent could throw St. Pierre off more than Condit (who was already preparing for a great boxer with incredible ground skills, albeit a smaller one in B.J. Penn). Condit’s style of striking is completely different than Nick Diaz’s even outside of simply power.

Nothing is guaranteed in MMA so I’m not saying Condit winning is a lock. I’m simply pointing out he has a better chance of finishing St. Pierre off than any opponent has to date and based on statements GSP has made I think he knows it too.

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

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