The undercard saw a job saving KO win by Rick Story over Quinn Mulhern, an impressive Octagon debut for Jordan Mein, defeating veteran Dan Miller and some dubious officiating as Yves Lavigne stopped Darren Elkins from delivering further damage to Antonio Carvalho when most would say he was merely rocked, although a TKO did look imminent.
Last of all in the prelims, we saw Patrick Cote make his 170lb debut in a great scrap with Bobby Voelker which we had as a 29-28 win for Voelker but the judges scored for the Canadian. Funny how often that happens.
The main card started in super dull fashion with Mike Ricci and Colin Fletcher, followed by Chris Camozzi and Nick Ring in active yet strangely lukewarm contests which resulted in one deserved decision win for Ricci and a surprise decision win for Camozzi.
Business picked up as we rolled into our unofficial welterweight grand pix as Jake Ellenberger earned a highlight reel moment, knocking Nate Marquardt out in the first round. I urge you to hunt for replays of this knockout because it was a thing of great and terrible beauty.
Former interim champion Carlos Condit faced on-a-roll Johny Hendricks in what was reckons to be a no.1 contenders fight and did not disappoint. Both guys pressed forward, with Condit and Hendricks taking each others best shots and smiling about it. Hendricks repeatedly took Condit down but couldn’t keep him down, although on balance it was the takedowns that made the difference on the scorecards.
Seriously, if it wasn’t for Wanderlei vs. Stann, this would probably be my fight of the year so far. Check it out.
In the main event, the question as to whether Nick Diaz had gotten into GSP‘s head enough to throw him off with his gameplan was answered with an emphatic NO.
St-Pierre’s double leg takedowns were as inescapable as ever and while Diaz showed his impressive ground skills in avoiding damage and seeking subs, GSP was always the man in the ascendancy.
Curiously in later rounds, Diaz spent more time taunting GSP than pressing for a finish and GSP more than held his own in the striking contests, especially at one point where Diaz threw a speculative crescent kick, GSP answered with a more picture perfect, textbook version of the same move.
In the end, it was a business as usual, unanimous decision for GSP who ties Matt Hughes for most UFC appearances (18) and passes him in terms of title defences. GSP was gracious in victory, asking the Montreal crowd to applaud Diaz, who once again intimated that he intends to retire from MMA.
All in all, the event didn’t quite live up to billing as Nick failed to get GSP’s dark place to extend into the Octagon and we were left with a feeling of same old, same old from the main event. However, the quality action on the undercard and from the other main card welterweights more than made up for it. Now we get a few weeks off before UFC Sweden.
Kumite Fight of the Night: Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit
Kumite KO of the Night: Jake Ellenberger (vs. Nate Marquardt)
Georges St-Pierre def. Nick Diaz via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) to retain UFC Welterweight title
• Johny Hendricks def. Carlos Condit via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Jake Ellenberger def. Nate Marquardt via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:00
• Chris Camozzi def. Nick Ring via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
• Mike Ricci def. Colin Fletcher via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
• Patrick Cote def. Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Darren Elkins def. Antonio Carvalho via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:06
• Jordan Mein def. Dan Miller via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:42
• John Makdessi def. Daron Cruickshank via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Rick Story def. Quinn Mulhern via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:05
• T.J. Dillashaw def. Issei Tamura via KO (knee and punches) – Round 2, 0:26
• George Roop def. Reuben Duran via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)