by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
The World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight title will be on the line on Wednesday night, as reigning champion Carlos Condit faces Carlo Prater.
If you were to ask the casual fan who Carlo Prater is, they may not know. However, Prater is a very dangerous opponent who has a lot of tools to finish any opponent. Prater already holds a win over Condit from three and a half years ago where he triangle choked the reigning champ. He also holds notable wins over Spencer Fisher and Melvin Guillard, so he should be taken seriously.
Prater took some time out his busy schedule to talk with MMAWeekly Radio about his upcoming fight. When asked about how things are going with his training, Prater said, “Pretty good. We’re just going through the motions.”
When he finished Condit back in 2004, he was able to submit him in less than a round. Even though he finished Condit, he doesn’t believe he can take much away from that fight.
“Not really. I got the utmost respect for Carlos and his crew and his team. I believe he’s improved as a fighter. I have too. If there was something to take from that fight, it’s that he’s human. He’s flesh and blood and if he could be beaten back then, he can now.”
The title fight will be the main event of WEC’s card on Wednesday night, but it will also be the highest profile fight of Prater’s career. While some people would get motivated by having their first fight in the WEC, being that it is one of the most well known MMA venues in the world, that isn’t what motivates Prater.
“My motivation is the belt. I think we’re highly motivated and it will be a true test for a battle of wills,” said Prater. “It means everything. That’s why I jumped at this opportunity. This is something that any fighter dreams about. I don’t really think (about) what the organization is; as long as there is a belt up for grabs, it’s important.”
Condit is one of the best strikers in the welterweight division and has excellent submission skills. In fact, he has submitted his last three opponents. As dangerous as Condit is, one would think that Prater would be watching and studying his fights. However, Prater feels otherwise.
“I haven’t seen too much of him in his last fights. It seems like he’s put his skills and blended them pretty well into MMA. He just got better as a fighter and so have I.”
Even though he hasn’t seen Condit’s last few fights, that doesn’t mean he’s taking him lightly.
“I’m taking this opportunity very seriously and I’m training harder than I ever have for this fight,” explained Prater. “I’ve been training since mid-December and this is my shot. This is how I look at it. I’ve been taking this opportunity to the extreme.”
One potential obstacle that Prater would have to overcome is that the fight is happening in Condit’s backyard, Albuquerque, N.M. The crowd might be in Condit’s corner, but Prater doesn’t believe it will affect him one way or another.
“I don’t really look at it like it’s something that will affect the fight. We fought there last time when we fought. That’s not gonna be an issue with me.”
Prater and Condit are both exciting fighters who aren’t the type to feel their opponents out. While Prater didn’t give an answer on how the fight would end, he did offer his prediction on the fight.
“I just predict it’s gonna be one hell of a fight. We’re gonna put it all on the line. At the end of the night, I just believe. I put so much work in.”