The UFC keeps sending new contenders at Georges St-Pierre, and the welterweight champion keeps sending them back beaten, battered and without a title.

Carlos Condit did his absolute best to try to dethrone GSP at UFC 154 last weekend, but even after over a year outside of the cage and a career-threatening knee injury, St-Pierre’s wrestling and top control proved too much for “The Natural Born Killer” to handle.

Outside of a scary moment in the third round that saw St-Pierre dropped with a head kick, the champion completely dominated the majority of the fight, and even though he’s taken out seven straight challengers for his belt, the ever-evolving welterweight division is still stocked full of potential title challengers.

A superfight with Anderson Silva is heavily rumored to be in the works right now, but until the bout is officially announced, the welterweight division is where St-Pierre will be focused for the near future.

GSP and fans alike might have received a glimpse of that near future in the co-main event on Saturday night. After another impressive knockout win over Martin Kampmann this weekend, surging contender Johny Hendricks, who will bring a top notch wrestling game and a lead pipe for a left hand into a bout with GSP, seems to have claimed the first spot on the agenda.

The wrestler with knockout power in his hands isn’t a new test for St-Pierre, who’s dealt with a similar opponent in Josh Koscheck in the recent past, but Hendricks brings more firepower in his hands than anyone GSP has ever fought and has the ability to end any fight with one clean shot.

But if St-Pierre is able to shut down Hendricks and defend his title to extend his streak of successful welterweight title defenses to eight, the list of contenders won’t getting any easier.

UFC bad boy Nick Diaz is still lingering around the title scene while serving his year-long suspension for marijuana metabolites, and he’s busy calling out everyone from Koscheck to Anderson Silva. A single win inside the Octagon will likely be enough to earn Diaz his long-awaited shot at GSP.

Other than Diaz, there’s one additional fighter that could conceivably make a run at the title, and that’s GSP’s friend and current Tristar teammate Rory MacDonald.

If MacDonald can get past future UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn in a few weeks, he’ll end up on the cusp of a No. 1 contender fight, and by the time GSP and Hendricks fight for the belt, “Ares” could be next in line for a shot at UFC gold.

Both St-Pierre and MacDonald have said that the fight will never happen, but we’ve seen these situations take place before and the result is usually a fight between two former teammates. If UFC President Dana White offers MacDonald enough money, this fight will happen, and it could lead to the toughest test of St-Pierre’s career.

St-Pierre may have made a successful return to the Octagon this weekend, but his work is far from done in the welterweight division. The toughest tests of his career may still be on the horizon.

Photo: Georges St-Pierre enters the Octagon (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.