Carlos Condit didn’t just ruin Dan Hardy’s day at UFC 120, he also turned a corner in his own career, as he begins a path that he believes will take him towards a shot at the welterweight title currently held by Georges St-Pierre.
As dominant a champion as there’s been in a promotion, that was Carlos Condit when he held the WEC welterweight strap. Cruising through fights with relative ease, Condit was poised for a big jump when he moved over to the UFC, but came up short in his debut fight against Martin Kampmann.
Two more fights followed after that and both resulted in wins, but not the same kind of dominating and fierce victories that Condit had become accustomed unleashing. That changed at UFC 120 as he laid out British fighter and former top contender Dan Hardy with one punch.
“So far in my UFC career I haven’t been as dominating as I was in the past, so I was just trying to get back on track,” Condit explained when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio. “You’ve watched my career, you knew me back when I was fighting in Rumble on the Rock and stuff, and I was taking guys out in the first round back then. I haven’t been able to do that in my last couple fights, so I’m just showing people what they might have forgot.”
It was a harsh reminder that Dan Hardy had to live through, and now Condit believes he’s exactly where he wants to be. He’s back in the MMA Top 10 rankings, on the precipice of a major fight in the UFC’s welterweight division, which is what he’s been waiting for.
“In this fight, I felt as comfortable as I’ve ever felt in the cage,” said Condit. “I feel like I’m coming into my prime now. It’s now or never if I’m going to get that belt around my waist. I’m going to give it my best effort and train as hard as I can, and these next couple of fights will probably define my career.”
As far as who his next fight will be against, Condit’s not sure just yet, but a list of names including Jon Fitch, Jake Shields, and Martin Kampmann all could be viable candidates for the New Mexico based fighter. Fitch in particular is a match-up that intrigues Condit because of their stylistic differences.
“Any one of those guys you just named would be great,” Condit commented. “I think Fitch, that would be a great fight. I think his game plan would be similar to (GSP’s) game plan. Wrestler probably try to take me down, and if I could deal with that then that is maybe a marker for how I might do in a title match.
“I’d have to work my butt off, but I like a challenge.”
Fitch is currently awaiting his next opponent as well, so there’s a solid chance UFC matchmaker Joe Silva puts the two top ten ranked opponents together in a fight.
Never one to stay away from the action for too long, Condit plans to head back to the gym pretty soon to maintain his current level of readiness. He believes his constant work this year led to the performance he had against Hardy, and he wants to keep that intensity alive.
“Maybe February or March, that would be good for me fighting,” Condit mentioned as far as timing for his next fight.
Whatever the fight ends up being, Carlos Condit has served notice to the UFC welterweight division that he’s back in form, and they all need to be on the look out.