UFC 154 taught us a few things about its combatants but here are the three things that stood out the most.
Georges St-Pierre Is Better Than Ever
Last week I penned a column fishing for reasons why I thought Carlos Condit would defeat Georges St-Pierre. The challenge was certainly there because a column explaining why I thought GSP would retain against Condit would have gone a little something like "Wrestling, top control, wrestling, blah blah blah, superior athlete, wrestling." Part of me thought that Condit had a great chance at snatching the title from the kung fu grip that St-Pierre has had on it for the last five years. The other part of me thought that if Martin Kampmann could grind out a victory against Condit, why couldn't GSP? The fact was that Condit hadn't faced a foe who utilized his wrestling exceptionally well before he fought St-Pierre. And if you want to beat St-Pierre, you need a tune up against a strong wrestler. So I wasn't all that surprised the moment St-Pierre dragged down Condit in the first round. What I was surprised with was how the Canadian shook off the cobwebs from a nasty head kick that put St-Pierre on his back side and in a world of trouble. The last time we saw GSP in this much trouble, Matt Serra finished him and rubbed on the belt the way Roy Nelson rubs his belly. St-Pierre simply couldn't recover after being rocked by Serra. Against Condit, St-Pierre remained composed, weathered the storm and went right back to business as he earned the unanimous decision victory. 19 months out of the Octagon? It looked like he never left. Although I still don't think fighting Anderson Silva is a good idea, I can see why it has to happen.
Johny Hendricks Is The Real Deal
What Johny Hendricks has accomplished over the past year in the Octagon is nothing short of devastating. After obliterating the durable Jon Fitch last December with a 12 second knockout, Hendricks replicated the feat as he detonated a fistful of dynamite on the chin of the equally durable Martin Kampmann. Kampmann has been known from coming back from the brink of defeat to score a victory. Well, there would be no comebacks on this night. When the left hand of doom met the Danish fighter's face, the building turned black for Kampmann. And although a relatively ugly split decision victory is sandwiched between two eyebrow raising knockouts, the fact of the matter is that Johny Hendricks is a lethal weapon waiting to be unleashed on his next foe. Now, we now that he's considering sitting on the sidelines until St-Pierre decides whether to defend his title or take on Anderson Silva, a fight against someone like Nick Diaz would prove to be exciting for fight fans across the globe.
Mark Hominick's Fall From Grace Is A Dramatic One
Remember Mark Hominick? Yeah, he's the guy that fought a spirited war against Jose Aldo before having his face mangled to look much like Sloth from "The Goonies" (look it up). Even though he was lumped up, he put up a good fight and most thought that he would remain a top contender in the featherweight division. Yeah, well, that didn't happen. Somewhere in that plastic surgeon needing thumping from Aldo, Hominick became a changed fighter. While I'm not sure exactly what button Aldo pushed, it certainly changed Hominick's outlook on life inside the cage. If being bombed out by Chan Sung Jung wasn't evidence enough, a split decision lost to Eddie Yagin and Pablo Garza taking him to the woodshed for a unanimous decision victory likely signaled the end of Hominick's UFC career. I'm not shocked that he lost, I'm shocked at the life altering affects that the Aldo beating has had on him. Reminds me of when Miguel Torres ate it against Brian Bowles, he was never the same again. Neither is Hominick.