Source: MMA Weekly
It looks like we have a date. Everyone has been speculating on when the UFC will give a timeline for GSP‘s return. Dana White did us one better by telling us when, where, and who will be on the fight card. White confirmed they are tentatively scheduling the UFC welterweight unification title fight between GSP and Carlos Condit at UFC 154 in Montreal, Canada. The fight will occur in November which coincides with when GSP expects to be able to return to action. The whole fight though depends on GSP’s health and whether he will be able to return in time. White was optimistic but did not make any guarantees. He also confirmed that a welterweight #1 contender’s match between Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks is also expected to be on the main card. The fight will likely determine who will face the winner between GSP and Carlos Condit. Again, there are no guarantees the card will shape out this because it requires that GSP gets healthy in time and no one gets hurt. With the UFC’s luck with injuries lately, we could possibly see an entirely different card at fight night.
Even though the fight card is only tentatively scheduled, I like that the UFC did right by Kampmann and Hendricks. Truthfully, it would have been nice to see Condit defend his title against Hendricks this summer with the winner awaiting GSP’s return in the fall. Kampmann would then take another fight at the end of the year to see who would get to face the GSP winner next year. After all, what good is an interim title if that champion doesn’t fight while the real champion on the mend? An interim champ is supposed to keep things moving while the real champ is injured–not wait for the real champ to get back. I can understand why Condit would choose to wait for GSP since it is a big pay day and legitimizes his title. But it is the UFC’s job to force the interim champ to face the #1 contender. If anything, the interim title just held Condit’s place in line and kept him out of action. He must be feeling the ring rust by now. Even if he is able to fight GSP, I think both guys will look bad with the extra time off. I like that Kampmann and Hendricks will get to fight though. Hendricks has been hot lately but so has Kampmann. Both guys will get to decide their fate directly by facing each other. It doesn’t get any better than that. Hendricks has the power, Kampmann is tough and has a taste for theatrics. Now if we can just get everyone to stay healthy.
Update 6/27/2012: GSP is back! Well he is back training at full strength. GSP tweeted out that his rehab is over and the welterweight kingpin is back training full time. He also said he tried some kicks and the knee is feeling “super strong”. Here’s hoping there will be no other injury concerns moving forward as GSP prepares for his comeback fight against Carlos Condit.
Update 7/19/2012: Dana White said barring an injury or setback, GSP is scheduled to face Carlos Condit at UFC 154 in Montreal, Canada. Lets hope the injury bug won’t hit any other fighters for the rest of the year.
Update 8/28/2012: Even though it was a formality, GSP has been officially cleared to return to full MMA training. UFC 154 is officially on and GSP will face Carlos Condit to unify the interim and welterweight title.
Update 11/16/2012: All fighters for tomorrow’s UFC 154 card made weight without any issues. The welterweight unification bout is official between GSP and Carlos Condit. The card will air from Montreal, Canada tomorrow at the usual 7pm pt/ 10pm et live on PPV.