Finding A Fight For Carlos Condit

UFC-158 The welterweight division received a earthquake-esque shakeup this past week with divisional kingpin and future UFC Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre vacating his welterweight crown and the UFC booking a title fight between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler at UFC 171. And after all the dust from that has settled from St-Pierre’s decision, it’s Carlos Condit who — yet again — appears to have been given the short end of the stick. You may recall that back at UFC 137, the UFC had given Condit the opportunity to fight St-Pierre for the belt, but after St-Pierre pulled out with an injury, Condit was removed from the card entirely but promised a shot at St-Pierre at UFC 143. Although Nick Diaz had lost his shot at fighting for gold after missing a scheduled press conference, he earned it back after he beat up BJ Penn, and Condit agreed to fight Josh Koscheck at UFC 143 while Diaz got his shot at St-Pierre. Fate would have it that that fight never materialized after St-Pierre tore his ACL, and Condit ended up fighting Nick Diaz for the interim UFC welterweight crown at UFC 143. In an upset, Condit was able to outstrike Diaz over the course of five rounds and pick up the belt, also earning a title unification match with St-Pierre in the process. But although Condit fought valiantly at UFC 154, he wasn’t able to beat St-Pierre, and after losing to Johny Hendricks at UFC 158, Condit was far back in the title picture. However, the sport of MMA changes so quickly, and after a huge TKO win over Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 27 and the apparent retirement of St-Pierre, Condit is once again a top title contender. In fact, I believe that Condit should have been given the nod against Hendricks for the vacant belt, but I understand the UFC gave Lawler the shot since Condit and Hendricks have fought recently (albeit, only for three rounds). Regardless, the decision to give Lawler the title shot instead of Condit has left “The Natural Born Killer” on the outside looking in once again, and after Diaz turned down a potential rematch with Condit at UFC 171 for the No. 1 contender slot, Condit is in limbo, waiting for an opponent to step up and fight him next spring. Or, at least he was in limbo, because as I was half-way done writing this post about who I thought Condit should fight next, the UFC announced he is fighting Tyron Woodley at UFC 171. I know the UFC was having a hard time locating a fight for Condit because so many fighters in the top 10 were tied down, but I really don’t like this fight with Woodley because he’s not ranked. The problem with Condit fighting Woodley is that Condit is in a different class. Yes, Woodley is a solid welterweight in his own right, but he has lost to Jake Shields and Nate Marquardt within the last year-and-a-half. And again, he’s not ranked. So I don’t believe he should be getting this fight, even if he is coming off of an impressive KO win over Josh Koscheck at UFC 167. If anything, Condit should be fighting Jake Ellenberger in a rematch, as many (including myself) believe “The Juggernaut” should have got the nod over Condit when they fought back in the day. The Condit vs. Woodley matchup is just another example of Condit being a tremendous employee to the UFC and taking whatever fights they offer him. You have to respect Condit for being a warrior and doing his job with absolutely no qualms, but I really feel like this man has been given the short end of the stick for the better part of two years now, and I don’t know when it’s going to end. We’ll see how Condit performs against Woodley next March — and maybe Woodley can steal the win and prove me wrong — but I have to say that I’m not a fan of this matchup based on principal as I feel like the UFC has rewarded Woodley unjustly by giving him a fight with the No. 2 contender, while I feel like Condit has unjustly earned a step down in competition. But hey, MMA isn’t about fairness, as we seemingly come to find out every single week in this sport.

Written by Adam Martin.

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