Now that the dust has settled from UFC 154 it’s time to take a look at the performances of all the involved participants and see who exited the event a “winner” and who left a “loser”, though not necessarily in the literal sense.
George St-Pierre/Carlos Condit:
Although it was the longstanding champion, Georges St-Pierre, who had his hand raised and unified the welterweight titles by defeating Carlos Condit, neither man deserves to be called a â€œloserâ€ after the battle they had. GSP had been on the shelf for 19 months, but proved that he hadnâ€™t lost a step in that time. â€œRushâ€, whose mental fortitude has been questioned in the past, even came back from a devastating head kick in the third round, and managed to control the rest of the stanza.
On the other side of the cage, Condit shed much of the criticism he garnered after his performance against Nick Diaz by pushing St-Pierre harder than anyone had in years. While he lost four rounds, â€œThe Natural Bornâ€ killer fought off his back like no other, throwing strikes from the bottom and threatening with a variety of submission attempts. The Albuquerque native more than likely solidified his place in Dana Whiteâ€™s proverbial â€œmixâ€ for quite some time.
Martin Kampamann and Jon Fitch are bona fide elite level welterweights with 21 divisional UFC wins between the two of them. Combined, it took Johny Hendricks less than a minute to separate both of them from consciousness. Many felt that when Hendricks knocked out the perennial contender Fitch in 12 seconds at UFC 141, it was a â€œlucky punchâ€. The Team Takedown product proved that it wasnâ€™t so this weekend, having blasted the notoriously tough Kampmann in a mere 46 seconds.
Assuming St-Pierre doesnâ€™t face Anderson Silva at a catchweight his next time out, it would be a crime if â€œBig Rigâ€ isnâ€™t the welterweight standing across the cage from the champion.
Rafael Dos Anjos:
It has been a steady progression for Rafael Dos Anjos, who showed so much promise in his first two UFC losses that he was allowed to stick around and put together a very respectable run in the lightweight division. It all came to a head on Saturday as the Brazilian put a beating on Mark Bocek comparable to that of UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Hendersonâ€™s performance against the Canadian. The move to Kingâ€™s MMA has done wonders for Dos Anjos, who should be facing a top-ten opponent his next time out.
â€œThe Scarecrowâ€ had been predictably unpredictable in his UFC run hitherto, and while we saw a flash of that with his second-round Ryu-esque â€œhurricane kickâ€, Garza turned it down and posted a dominant performance against the best opposition heâ€™s faced hitherto against Mark Hominick. Even after going down to a body blow in the first stanza, the fighter from North Dakota was still able to get his own offense going. Itâ€™s still unclear as to where he falls in the grand scheme of things at 145 lb., but if this performance was indication, Garza has good things ahead for him.
With the sole exception of a TKO at the hands of Paul Daley, all of Martin Kampmannâ€™s losses in the welterweight division were controversial to say the least. Not this time, however, as the â€œThe Hitmanâ€ was knocked clean out in just 46 seconds, ending his recent surge against top competition. Make no mistake, the Danish fighter is tough as nails and is still a top welterweight, but it is impossible to find any redeeming qualities in a loss that sees someone separated from consciousness in under a minute.
Francis Carmont/Tom Lawlor:
Just think for a second, think about all of the things that can go wrong with a fight, this middleweight tilt had just about all of them. It was a tepid performance by both men, laden with bad refereeing, a lukewarm crowd reaction, and a terrible decision. While Francis Carmont â€œwonâ€ the bout, he did little to further himself in the division. On the other side of things, Lawlor was robbed of a win, but did not look good in the process. Even UFC President Dana White showed his distaste for the bout, tweeting, â€œthey both lost that fight,â€ immediately after the final bell.
It was no surprise that Chad Griggs was outmatched in the striking department against Cyrille Diabate, but the utter lack of skill displayed in the grappling department was shocking. Diabate is a verified one-trick pony in MMA, but even he was able to hustle â€œThe Gravediggerâ€ in a putrescent grappling affair. One has to think that Griggs will be handed his walking papers.
Team Tompkins (Sam Stout/Mark Hominick):
To say it has been a tumultuous time for the fighters of Team Tompkins is a tremendous understatement. The tragic passing of head trainer Shawn Tompkins last summer definitely took the wind from the sails of those closest to him, specifically Sam Stout and Mark Hominick as we saw at UFC 154. Stout, his brother-in-law, is 2-1 since his untimely passing, and his best friend and protÃ©gÃ© Hominick is 0-3. While Stout has long been considered an also-ran, his performances of late have been less convincing than usual, as he couldnâ€™t put together any offense against John Makdessi that night. Meanwhile, Hominick has experienced a major fall from grace, as the one-time title challenger is now on a four-fight skid after losing to Pablo Garza.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC