x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

MMA: St. Pierre cools talk of superfight after successful UFC return

UFC chiefs remain hopeful of a proposed bout between welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and middleweight champion Anderson Silva, despite the former brushing off the prospect.

UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre lands a blow to interim champion Carlos Condit in their unification bout.
UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre lands a blow to interim champion Carlos Condit in their unification bout.

Georges St. Pierre appeared to give the prospect of a mixed martial arts superfight with Anderson Silva the brush-off after saying he wanted to go on holiday before deciding whether to accept the bout.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion retained his title in a unification bout with interim champion Carlos Condit in his first. fight since suffering cruciate ligament damage last year.

But hopes of a champion v champion bout with UFC's long-time middleweight St.ar Silva were cooled, despite the Brazilian being present ringside.

"I need to take some holiday and think about it," St. Pierre immediately after the fight, to the disappointment of the crowd - and Silva, who had travelled to Canada from Brazil for the expected challenge.

In the press conference afterwards afterwards, he reiterated he needed a break to think about the prospect of the fight - and said focusing on that had been disrespectful towards his opponent.

Both Silva and UFC president Dana White said they wanted the fight to happen, but the ball was now in St. Pierre's court.  White said afterwards he would give St Pierre time to recover from his title defence before bringing the superfight up again, with details - such as a venue and what weight it would be staged at - still to be considered.

Condit made St. Pierre, fighting in his native Montreal, go the distance, but was unable to break down the resolve of the reigning champion - who made his seventh defence of the title since winning it in 2007.

The interim champion rocked St. Pierre early in the third round but could not capitalise, with the judges ultimately scoring the fight by unanimous decision for the Canadian.

It was a largely comfortable return to action for St. Pierre, competing in the UFC for the first time in more than 18 months, repeatedly taking Condit down and controlling the fight from the top.

"This fight and the John Fitch fight pushed me to the edge but this was special as I'd not fought in a long time and it was at home," he said afterwards.

"I left everything I had in the octagon.  I was exhausted.  I fought the best I could, and I give Carlos the credit.  I had a blast.  It was painful, i was getting hit, but I had a lot of fun."

Fight metrics afterwards showed St. Pierre had landed 71 significant strikes to Condit's 36, despite Condit throwing more in total.

Elsewhere Johny Hendricks fired himself into contention for a shot at St. Pierre's belt, if the bout with Silva does not take place, with a stunning first-round knockout of Martin Kampmann.

The Danish welterweight was caught flush by a left hook from Hendricks that flattened him just 46 seconds into the fight.

French fighter Francis Carmont was booed by the crowd after winning a split decision from the judges over flamboyant Tom Lawlor, while Brazilian fighter Rafael dos Anjos scored the decision with a dominant performance over Mark Bocek, and Mark Hominick lost. his fourth straight UFC fight in a row - this time to Pablo Garza by decision.

On the undercard, Alessio Sakara was disqualified after repeated illegal blows to the back of opponent Patrick Cote's head. Afterwards Dana White described the referee's failure to stop the punches as 'horrible' and said he felt it should have been ruled a no contest, rather than a win for Cote.

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