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Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: November 19, 10:14 AM ET
St-Pierre shakes off rust, defends title

By Franklin McNeil
ESPN.com

MONTREAL -- The superfight remains a reality.

Lineal welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre returned to action for the first time in 18 months and defeated interim titleholder Carlos Condit by unanimous decision at UFC 154 on Saturday night.

The judges scored the bout, 49-46, 50-45 and 50-45. ESPN.com scored it 49-46 for St-Pierre, who improved to 23-2.

"People talk about ring rust," St. Pierre said. "I definitely know what it is. Carlos Condit definitely gave me my toughest fight."

St-Pierre dominated much of the fight with his grappling skills. He consistently took Condit to the ground and landed several elbows and punches.

A left elbow opened a nasty cut above Condit's right eye in the first round. St-Pierre used an elbow in the second round to widen the same cut.

But in the third round, Condit put the potential superfight between St-Pierre and middleweight champion Anderson Silva in jeopardy, when he dropped St-Pierre with a left head kick.

St-Pierre eventually got to his feet, but a huge hematoma developed on the right side of the champion's head.

After the win, St-Pierre refused to fully commit to a fight with Silva.

"I know Anderson Silva is here right now," St-Pierre said. "I was focusing on Carlos Condit. I want to take some time for myself.

"I want to talk to my manager and my team and decide what is best for me."

Condit was bloodied throughout the battle and was on his back much of the fight, but never stopped throwing strikes.

"I'm still disappointed," said Condit, who falls to 28-6. "His top game was very, very good. He was able to hold me down."

Hendricks KO's Kampmann in 46 seconds

There isn't a harder hitter in mixed martial arts than Johny Hendricks. He proved it once again in a welterweight title eliminator against Martin Kampmann.

Martin Kampmann
A Johny Hendricks left cross ended Martin Kampmann's night in Round 1.

For the second time in three fights, Hendricks knocked out a top welterweight contender within a minute.

Kampmann became the latest victim when Hendricks connected with a left cross on the jaw at the 46-second mark. The punch was set up by a right hand.

"It feels great," said Hendricks, who improved to 14-1. "Martin Kampmann is a tough dude. I trained with him before.

"I just started hitting that combo a week ago. It came to me in a dream."

Hendricks, who finished Jon Fitch in 12 seconds on Dec. 30, 2011, erased all doubt that he is the No. 1 contender in the 170-pound division. And he quickly asked for a title shot.

"Please give me a shot at that belt," Hendricks said. "I know Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit are fighting. But I want a title shot."

Kampmann, falls to 20-6, ending a three-match win streak.

Carmont beats Lawlor by split decision

The hype around middleweight Francis Carmont might have hit a snag, despite coming away victorious against Tom Lawlor.

Francis Carmont and Tom Lawlor
Francis Carmont's superior reach helped him earn a split decision over Tom Lawlor.

Carmont won by split decision.

Two judges had it 29-28, while the third scored it 29-28 for Lawlor.

Carmont stuffed most of Lawlor's takedowns and used his superior reach to stay out of harm's way for much of the fight. He also landed several hard kicks to the body.

But Lawlor applied guillotine chokes near the end of the first and second rounds. Carmont survived each time.

Carmont extended his winning streak inside the Octagon to four, and improved to 20-7 as a professional mixed martial artist. Lawlor drops to 8-5 with one no contest.

Dos Anjos wears down Bocek
Mark Bocek and Rafael dos Anjos
Rafael dos Anjos, showed a new wrinkle to his attacking game against Mark Bocek.

Rafael dos Anjos proved too fast, too elusive and, surprisingly, too strong for Mark Bocek during their lightweight fight.

Impressive in each of the three rounds, dos Anjos cruised to a unanimous decision and his third consecutive win.

All three judges scored the fight for dos Anjos 30-27. ESPN.com also had dos Anjos winning 30-27.

Dos Anjos, who improved to 18-6, mixed up his attacked with kicks, punches and takedowns. The assault wore down Bocek -- a cut under his left from punches delivered by dos Anjos in the second round didn't make the night any easier.

"I watched Mark's previous fights and he always comes with the same combination," dos Anjos said. "I could tell he got frustrated but I was prepared for him. This has been a good year for me. I got three wins and I'm ready to keep going and improving."

Bocek, though unable to score a takedown in the fight, never stopped coming forward. He falls to 11-5.

Garza hands Hominick his fourth straight loss
Mark Hominick and Pablo Garza
Mark Hominick found himself on the wrong end of Pablo Garza's strikes for a full 15 minutes.

Former top contender Mark Hominick could not keep Pablo Garza from taking him down in the final two rounds of their featherweight bout and it led to his fourth consecutive loss.

The fight was scored 29-27, 30-26 and 29-28 for Garza. ESPN had it 29-28 for Garza.

Hominick got off to a good start, landing a hard left hook to the body that dropped Garza. But when the fighters got to their feet, Garza delivered a right hand that cut Hominick under his left eye.

Garza opened a cut under Hominick's right eye in the second round while they were on the ground.

Both fighters came into this 145-pound showdown needing wins in the worst way.

Hominick (20-12) hadn't won a fight since January 2011. Garza dropped his two most recent fights.

Garza improved to 13-3.

Cote wins after Sakara is DQ'd

It appeared that Patrick Cote was on his way to ending a four-fight losing skid in UFC competition. He rocked Alessio Sakara with several hard punches and knees.

Patrick Cote and Alessio Sakara
After some drama and illegal elbows, Patrick Cote was awarded the victory.

But Sakara turned the tables with hard elbows to the head. That's when the fight got interesting.

Sakara hit the downed Cote several times behind the head. Referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in and waved the bout off at 1:26 of the first round.

Miragliotta then disqualified Sakara, giving Cote the victory.

"I felt he was out when I was throwing the elbows," Sakara said. "I didn't intend to hit him behind the head. It was adrenaline. I got caught up in the moment. I'm sorry."

Cote would have preferred winning in more convincing fashion.

"If he wants to fight me again, I will," Cote said. "I want to give you guys a show."

Diabate gets first submission win in Octagon

In his five previous UFC appearances, light heavyweight Cyrille Diabate never had won by submission.

Cyrille Diabate and Chad Griggs
Cyrille Diabate earned the first submission of his career by choking out Chad Griggs.

That changed against Chad Griggs as Diabate applied a rear-naked choke at 2:24 of the first round. The win was Diabate's second in a row.

"I was looking for the knockout, but he gave me the opportunity for the submission and I went for it," Diabate said. "It's very sweet. I'm a striker, but I was hoping for a submission and I got it tonight."

Diabate caught Griggs with a short right hand. The punch sent Griggs to the canvas and drew blood from his nose.

Griggs, a former heavyweight, was making his 205-pound debut. He falls to 11-3.

Makdessi jabs his way past Stout

After beginning his UFC career with two impressive victories, lightweight John Makdessi entered his fight against Sam Stout on a two-fight skid.

John Makdessi and Sam Stout
John Makdessi, left, couldn't seem to miss Sam Stout's face with the jab.

Makdessi got back in the win column by using solid head movement and a relentless stiff jab to earn a unanimous decision.

The judges scored the bout 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27. ESPN.com scored it 30-27 for Makdessi, who improved to 10-2.

"My game plan was to counter and focus on my footwork," Makdessi said. "I saw him rushing and I knew he was getting desperate so I played it smart. I feel very fortunate right now."

Though he ate a lot of jabs and counter right hands, Stout (19-8-1) continued to move forward throughout the three-round affair.

Leg kicks lift Carvalho past Damm
More aggression was expected during standup action from the hard-hitting Antonio Carvalho during his featherweight bout with Rodrigo Damm, but he landed enough right kicks to earn a split decision.

Antonio Carvalho and Rodrigo Damm
Antonio Carvalho, right, struck his way past Rodrigo Damm.

Two judges scored it 29-28 for Carvalho, while the third had Damm winning 29-28. ESPN.com gave the edge to Carvalho 29-28.

"I didn't execute the stuff we worked on in the gym. It just didn't happen tonight," Carvalho said. "I got the win but I wasn't happy with my performance."

The fight was contested almost exclusively on the feet, though Damm (10-6) possesses solid jiu-jitsu skills, and that's where Carvalho (15-5) took advantage.

He kicked Damm repeatedly on his left lead thigh, which caused redness. The kicks slowed Damm's attack slightly.

Riddle outpoints Maguire
Matthew Riddle earned what should have been his third straight win with a decision over John Maguire. Instead, the 26-year-old from Pennsylvanian began a new streak after a positive test for marijuana in July, which overturned a win over Chris Clements to a no contest.

Matt Riddle and John Maguire
Matt Riddle's range proved the difference against John Maguire.

With each bout of his pro career taking place in the Octagon, Riddle has grown as a fighter in UFC.

"I'm very impressed with myself that I'm still here five years later," he joked.

Riddle (7-3) has done well to stick around, and his performance against England's Maguire (18-4) suggested the longish welterweight can yet make his presence known at 170 pounds.

Maguire landed his share of punches, including during an interesting and competitive second round. However Riddle took it to Maguire in certain spots, and did well to land combinations as he pressured. Riddle also thrived at shutting down Maguire's takedown attempts.

Judges' scores were all for Riddle: 30-27 (twice) and 29-28.

Said the winner: Maguire is "world class at jiu-jitsu so I wasn't trying to lose the fight."

Menjivar submits Gashimov
Ivan Menjivar felt Azamat Gashimov's strength, played possum, and secured a slick armbar from the guard midway through the opening round. The finish came as Menjivar went belly-first to the canvas and pushed his hips forward, stretching the Russian's ligaments to the point that the victor heard it happen.

Ivan Menjivar and Azamat Gashimov
Ivan Menjivar got back to his winning ways by submitting Azamat Gashimov.

"I played like Royce Gracie, let the guy punch and find the submission," Menjivar said.

From the moment Gashimov (7-2), a 22-year-old UFC newcomer, put Menjivar on his back, the 30-year-old El Salvadorian, who makes his home in Montreal, went looking for a submission. The finish marked Menjivar's tenth submission finish, and moved the bantamweight's record to 25-9.

Elkins extends winning streak
Darren Elkins (15-2) remained unbeaten at 145 pounds, winning his fourth straight unanimous decision at that weight to kickoff UFC 154 against an overwhelmed Steven Siler.

Steven Siler and Darren Elkins
Darren Elkins' ground game kept Steven Siler out of his element for three full rounds.

Elkins' numerous takedowns, clear control and an assortment of choke attempts chipped away at Siler, who never came close to answering his corner's call for a knockout. Only Siler's tenacity kept the 25-year-old Californian in the fight.

Elkins, 28, hammered Siler (21-10) in the second, leaving him battered heading into a fruitless final round.

Judges saw it a clean sweep, 30-27 across the board.

"I'm starting to mix it up, and grinding people out," Elkins said after the lopsided win. "Hard work is starting to pay off. i feel a lot stronger [at featherweight]. I think it makes me have a better diet. I'm flexible. Faster. Overall I'm more athletic."