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UFC 154 Predictions From Staff

Georges St-Pierre makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon Saturday night at UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit against interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit.

St-Pierre has proclaimed himself no longer the UFC welterweight champion, but this will be a title-unification bout. GSP last fought in early 2011, defeating Jake Shields for his sixth successful title defense.

Condit won himself the interim title by scoring a decision over Nick Diaz earlier this year. “The Natural Born Killer” is a former WEC 170-pound champion.

In the co-main event, welterweight contenders Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks collide. While the contest has not been designated a No. 1 contender match, the winner will likely place himself in good standing for a future title shot.

FightLine main writer Dana Becker and staff writer Joseph Lisnow offer up their predictions for both the GSP-Condit and Kampmann-Hendricks bouts.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit for unified UFC welterweight championship

Dana: After nearly two years, Georges St-Pierre finally returns to the UFC. The fact that GSP will be fighting in his native country, in front of a pro-GSP crowd will give him a boost. Carlos Condit is one of the more lethal challengers St-Pierre has ever faced. He’s strong on his feet with his striking, and he is a more-than-capable mixed martial artist on the mat. Give Condit all the credit in the world, but, at the same time, remember who he is facing. Yes, GSP has been out of action for several months. But, there is no one more concerned with how they train and how they compete than the Canadian. St-Pierre would not enter a fight at anything less than 100-percent, and that is what makes him the best in the world. Georges St-Pierre via fourth round TKO

Joseph: Georges St-Pierre has been gone for over 18 months from a serious MCL knee injury. So everyone wants to know if ring rust will play a factor. I simply say no. St-Pierre seems mentally and psychology ready. He’s focused at the task ahead. He’s not worrying about talk that Anderson Silva may challenge him live after the fight. The welterweight champion is only thinking Carlos Condit. I see St-Pierre winning via another decision. If he stopped the fight that would certainly be a nice change and maybe show a rejuvenated fighter. In the end, St-Pierre uses his wrestling ability to slowly win the fight. What, if anything, will transpire between Silva and St-Pierre after the fight is what everyone wants to know. Georges St-Pierre via unanimous decision

Martin Kampmann vs. Johny Hendricks

Dana: Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks both feel as though they are deserving challengers to the UFC welterweight title. Well, they have the opportunity to prove that Saturday night. Both are riding strong win streaks, though Hendricks has been able to do his with a little more authority. Following a win over Josh Koscheck, it appeared as though he might earn a title shot. Instead, he’ll have to try and solve the puzzle that is “The Hitman.” Kampmann has a “puncher’s chance” but that is about it. Look for “Bigg Rigg” to wear Kampmann down in the first before finishing him in the second. Johny Hendricks via second round TKO

Joseph: Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks are two of the toughest fighters in the welterweight division. Before I make a prediction, I think Hendricks already earned the No. 1 status when he defeated Josh Koscheck. Now back to the fight, I’m not expecting a three round one. Not even a fight to goes to the ground. Hendricks clearly wants that one punch knockout and Kampmann has shown he can beat a fighter anyway. I think Hendricks has that knockout ready come fight night. Kampmann wants to swing and if he chooses to do that than his fate is sealed. Johny Hendricks via second round KO