MONTREAL -- An 18-month-plus layoff. Reconstructive knee surgery. A poor showing last time out. And a very difficult opponent.
Georges St-Pierre enters today's comeback fight at UFC 154 against Carlos (Natural Born Killer) Condit surrounded by questions. Is the UFC welterweight champion ripe for the taking? Or does the Montreal MMA star have too many weapons for Condit?
"It's a very dangerous fight for Georges, a very very dangerous fight," said Montreal middleweight Patrick (The Predator) Cote. "But I think he's prepared."
The oddsmakers would seem to agree, having made St-Pierre a 3-1 favourite.
Condit (28-5) won the interim 170-pound title during St-Pierre's injury layoff, defeating the prickly Nick Diaz in February.
A 10-year pro, the 28-year-old from Albuquerque, N.M., is a former WEC champion who has won 13-of-14 fights since June 2006. He has never been knocked out and has only been stopped three times, all by submission.
"Definitely, he's a hard guy," said Martin Kampmann, who was the last person to beat Condit -- in 2009. "I don't think GSP's going to be able to finish him. I think (if) GSP wins it, it's going to be by decision but I can definitely see Condit catching GSP with something and finishing the fight."
Condit is durable physically and tough as teak mentally.
He demonstrated resilience against Rory MacDonald, enduring a poor start to put away the young Canadian in the dying seconds. He showed his power against Dan (The Outlaw) Hardy and was opportunistic in finishing Dong Hung (Stun Gun) Kim.
Most recently he showed smarts and patience in using distance, kicks and a lot of strikes to blunt Diaz.
"I really feel like we're putting this into a comprehensive strategy and that's what's going to be needed to beat Georges," said Condit.
-- The Canadian Press