Can't wait until Saturday to find out what happens at UFC 154? Well, you don't have to. I've got all the answers right here.
This is going to be a fantastic night of fights in the Octagon. Here is how I see it all playing out.
Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza
This is a battle of two slumping featherweights in desperate need of a win. Both have good power and striking, but Hominick is a former kickboxer and he will have a definite edge in the striking department.
Garza can make up for this with his grappling. He will want this fight to happen at close quarters.
The more you dig into the fight, the more even it appears, and both fighters have strong submission games.
In the end, I see Garza's grappling being more effective than Hominick's striking, and he will use that to win with a submission.
Prediction: Garza via submission
Nick Ring vs. Costa Philippou
Costa Philippou has steadily been working his way up to this main-card fight. He has a four-fight win streak in his corner and all the momentum that comes with it.
Nick Ring has had a far different path. He once appeared to be on the fast track, as he was among the favorites to win Season 11 of the The Ultimate Fighter, but was stopped by a knee injury. He made up for that by recently winning a decision over the man who went onto win that season, Court McGee.
Both of these guys are fighters on the rise.
Both are good strikers, but Philippou is clearly superior in this regard, and this will be the key to this fight.
Ring should be looking to get this bout to the mat, but I expect his ego to get the better of him on this big stage, causing him to try to out-strike his opponent—and that is not going to cut it.
Prediction: Philippou via TKO
Francis Carmont vs. Tom Lawlor
Two middleweights on the rise will collide in this one. Carmont enters on a 3-0 run, and Lawlor just scored a quick knockdown of Jason MacDonald.
Both of these guys have tremendous power and are good on their feet. This is not to suggest they are slouches when it comes to wrestling, but I expect the majority of this one to play out with these two men standing.
That is going to give the edge to Carmont, as he is by far a technically superior fighter. Carmont will pick apart Lawlor, land some big shots and turn that into a submission.
Prediction: Carmont via submission
Johny Hendricks vs. Martin Kampmann
This is going to be a serious battle. These are two stubborn and tough fighters with superior cardio.
Kampmann is a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of fighter. This allows him to exploit lesser fighters, but Hendricks is not lesser.
He is an absolutely dominant wrestler—a two-time collegiate champion—but he is much more than a wrestler. He has knockout power.
Hendricks does not have a weakness that Kampmann can exploit, and he will use his wrestling to control this match.
Prediction: Hendricks via unanimous decision
Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit
The return of GSP. This is the fight everyone is waiting for.
After 18 months away, Georges St. Pierre will make his return to the Octagon, and he will do so against a quality opponent: Carlos Condit.
Condit proved his merit by winning the interim championship with a victory over Nick Diaz. Condit is a dangerous striker with a competent ground game. He will undoubtedly look to land some big blows on the rusty GSP.
However, this will be his downfall. GSP is too hard to hit. He will avoid the big blows and shoot for takedowns and control this bout.
Prediction: GSP via unanimous decision
*Predicted winner will be denoted in bold for preliminary fights.
Facebook Preliminary Card
Antonio Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm
Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov
Darren Elkins vs. Steven Siler
Matthew Riddle vs. John Maguire
FX Preliminary Card
Alessio Sakara vs. Patrick Cote
Cyrille Diabate vs. Chad Griggs
Sam Stout vs. John Makdessi
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Mark Bocek