St-Pierre took steps toward making a superfight in the UFC middleweight class a real possibility on Saturday night as he defeated Carlos Condit at UFC 154 via unanimous decision. The win takes his career record to 23-2 and extends his win streak to 10, dating back to 2007.
It's been 18 months since GSP was in the Octagon, but he showed no ill effects from the ACL surgery that kept him sidelined and out of position to unify this title.
As speculation will begin to run rampant about the possibility of the marquee matchup between St-Pierre and Silva—the sport's two biggest draws over the past few years—St-Pierre took significant steps into proving that he can spend a full five rounds in the ring with the Spider.
Against Condit, GSP was out-struck, but used an extensive grappling and takedown game to make Condit start bleeding midway through the first round. He continued his dominance for most of the night, as the scorecards read 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46.
Here's a look at the complete fight statistics, courtesy of Fight Metric.
FightMetric (@FightMetric) November 18, 2012
However, it was the third round that showed the most about why GSP is ready for a fight with Silva.
He was knocked back and started to take some hits of his own from Condit, who really needed to KO St-Pierre in the third if he wanted to have any shot at the fight.
GSP came back strong in the fourth and fifth, winning all five rounds on two of the scorecards and only dropping that third on the other. His technical precision was on display yet again as he pushed that win streak closer to Silva's UFC record for title fights.
Should the superfight take place, it will feature two of the sport's most differing styles.
Silva is an assassin who calculates the best time to go after his opponents. His highlights are fan favorites because he uses KOs and submissions to turn slow, boring fights into the quickest of calls by the referee.
GSP is also a calculating fighter, but he likes to grind his opponent out over the length of the full fight. Of his last 10 wins, seven have been by decision. That's a stark contrast to Silva, who has only been the full length of a fight twice in his 16-fight UFC career.
Either way, it stands to be a great matchup, and one that will put to rest all the talk about who the world's best pound-for-pound fighter really is—until Jon Jones comes knocking, that is.
St-Pierre was back to bringing his signature style of punishment against Condit. Do not mistake him for a weak or boring fighter because he likes to use a more technical approach; this guy will not be an easy out for Silva.
The third round against Condit helped prove that, and as the details start to emerge from the UFC about the possibility of the sport's biggest fight of all time, Silva will have some serious training to do to figure out where GSP is vulnerable going forward.
Because if he is, he didn't show it at UFC 154.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.
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