Fight week is finally here for UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit in Montreal, just in time for us to complete our weekly “What’s at stake” series by looking at the three Canadians on the main card and break down what’s on the line for them.
Here we are with Part 3, ending with the headliner and UFC welterweight champion.
There is no one on the card that needs a win more than Thamesford, Ont.’s Mark Hominick. The former No. 1 featherweight contender and top 145-pound fighter in Canada has come under hard times of late with three straight losses.
Very deceiving defeats to Jose Aldo and Eddie Yagin, where Hominick fought valiantly and with skill, bookended a flash knockout at the hands of “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.
The UFC is usually three and out but he has this one last chance to keep his spot and Pablo Garza is in his way. Garza is lanky and crafty in his submissions and desperate himself with two straight losses.
Calgary’s Nick Ring did a very good job of being more than just a fighter in his last appearance at UFC 149 in his hometown in July. Ring was the front and centre ambassador at all the promos and events around fight week. He then put in a borderline performance against Court McGee and squeaked out a victory to get some momentum back on his side.
Fighting off a win and being 3-1 in the UFC says that Ring is secure in the promotion, but a win here would propel the middleweight to one or two final big fights to end his career right. Ring gets a tough match-up in Costa Philippou, who is very strong and has four wins in a row coming into this fight. This bout will tell which one of these guys takes the next step.
It’s very clear what’s on the line for GSP in this fight, and that is pretty much everything. His title, status, legacy and brand is always on the line whenever a star like St-Pierre fights. He is coming off an injury layoff which only adds pressure and doubt to the mix.
Carlos Condit is a tremendously tough and skilled fighter and he is a completely worthy foe in this fight. GSP may be in luck as Condit chose his own long layoff after he earned this shot with a win over Nick Diaz in February. Let’s hope both men shake off the rust early and fight at the level that we all know they can. It’s time for GSP to silence the critics.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report UFC and regular contributor to Sportsnet.ca’s UFC section. Follow him on Twitter @wakafightermma.