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GSP, Condit clash in Canada

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UFC 154 Betting Preview at Bovada

The most anticipated fight of the year so far headlines the UFC 154 card at Montreal's Bell Centre on Saturday, November 17, as Georges St-Pierre makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon for a Welterweight Title unification fight against Carlos Condit.

St-Pierre had long been considered by many as the pound-for-pound king in the sport. With that being said, he hasn't fought due to a knee injury - GSP had ACL surgery last December - since a unanimous decision victory over Jake Shields at UFC 129 on April 30, 2011. How long as that been? Jon Jones, the guy many now consider the top overall fighter, was only a month into his reign as the Light-Heavyweight Champion. Jones has defended that title four times since.

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The Canadian St-Pierre (22-2) has won nine straight since an April 2007 first-round TKO loss to Matt Serra cost him the Welterweight Title in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. St-Pierre got his belt back by beating Serra via second-round TKO at UFC 83, the first-ever UFC event in Canada and also staged at the Bell Centre. The majority of St-Pierre's wins (41%) have come by decision: the past four and nine overall.

GSP and Condit were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 137 in October 2011, but St-Pierre had to postpone because of injury. "Rush" was injured again while training for his UFC 143 bout with Condit, tearing his ACL and sidelining him indefinitely. Condit, a former WEC Champion, then won the interim belt with a unanimous decision win over ex-Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz on that UFC 143 card in February.

Condit (28-5) had opportunities to fight since then, but chose to wait for his big-money chance versus the legendary St-Pierre. The "Natural Born Killer" has won five straight overall since a split-decision loss to Martin Kampmann. Condit has never been knocked out and has 13 wins by KO/TKO. Only two of his victories have come via decision.

A victory by St-Pierre could set up a 2013 mega-fight with Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, but UFC President Dana White said a victory against St-Pierre will not land Condit a fight against Silva.

GSP is currently the -350 favorite at Bovada with Condit at +265. St-Pierre is taking the majority lean (approximately 58%) as he had dropped to -375 but recently moved back to the current number. Condit got as high as +285. It's the shortest odds for St-Pierre since he was -265 for his July 2009 victory over Thiago Alves. Condit is familiar with being an underdog as he has been in three of his past four fights. Condit was +170 in his last bout with Diaz. Dating to 2007, Condit has never been this big of an underdog.

Also on the card is another welterweight bout between top contenders Johny Hendricks (13-1) and Kampmann (20-5). The southpaw Hendricks has won five straight since losing by unanimous decision to Rick Story in The Ultimate Fighter season 12 finale. "Bigg Rigg" last fought at UFC on Fox 3 in May, beating Josh Koscheck by split decision. Kampmann has won three straight - starting with a victory over Story - and last was in the Octagon in the season 15 finale of TUF, beating Jake Ellenberger by second-round TKO.

White hasn't said officially whether the Hendricks-Kampmann winner will get a shot at the winner of the St-Pierre-Condit match, mainly because of the possibility of the GSP-Silva bout. Presumably if Condit were to pull the upset he would fight the Hendricks-Kampmann winner unless there's an immediate rematch with St-Pierre.

Hendricks is the current -150, with "The Hitman" at +120. Hendricks took the heavy early lean, moving from an opening of -140 to -155 before a slight drop to the current number. Kampmann, who is taking nearly 60% of the action, opened at +110 and climbed as high as +125. Hendricks was at a similar number for the Koscheck fight, and he was a -200 favorite in his loss to Story. Kampmann was an underdog in each of his past three fights, with a high of +165 against Ellenberger.

Bet on UFC 154 at Bovada Sportsbook. Raise Your Game.

  
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