Fighting in your opponent’s backyard is a tough spot for anyone in the UFC to be in. Anderson Silva was able to overcome a hometown crowd when he beat Rich Franklin back in 2007, as did Gray Maynard in spoiling Kenny Florian’s homecoming when they fought in Boston at UFC 118.
Carlos Condit is no stranger to fighting someone on his home soil. It’s hard to forget when the New Mexico native silenced a loud Hawaiian crowd back in 2006 when he launched a bone-shattering knee that knocked out Renato “Charuto” Verissimo.
He also managed to stomp his way through Tatsunori Tanaka when they fought in Pancrase in Japan, as well as finishing off Rory McDonald in his last fight when the young Canadian brought his crowd to Vancouver. So when Condit steps into the proverbial lion’s den on Saturday night when he faces Dan Hardy in his home country of England, it’s nothing new for the 26-year-old former WEC champion.
It’s something Condit actually feeds on.
“I do, I don’t mind it,” Condit admitted when talking on MMAWeekly Radio about being the bad guy when fighting in someone’s hometown. “I fought a lot of Japanese guys on their home turf, too. I kind of feel like I don’t have anything to lose. You just go out there, all the pressure’s on him, he’s the one who has got his friends and family and everybody right there, so I just get to go out and have fun.
“Energy is energy, whether it’s positive or negative towards me. I just use it and do my thing.”
Following his win over McDonald in June, Condit immediately asked for a fight with Hardy. Not because there was a tumultuous relationship between the two, or because he didn’t like the brash British slugger. Condit, much like Hardy, likes explosive and exciting match-ups and putting these two together is like lighting a match and dropping it in a vat of gasoline.
“I’m not really one to call people out, but Dan Hardy was coming off of his title shot, and I knew he had a fight coming up and it was kind of perfect timing for me as far as getting a good training camp in. I thought it made for a good fight,” Condit said.
“I like to be in exciting fights, I like to give the fans a show, and this is going to be another fight that’s going to live up to that.”
As the fight gets closer and closer, Hardy’s standard pre-fight talk has amped up. He doesn’t mind voicing his opinion about their upcoming showdown. Condit admits that outside of a 2007 fight with John Alessio, he doesn’t buy into the smack talk too much. Alessio’s talk ended in the Canadian being submitted in the second round by Condit in his second fight in the WEC.
Will Hardy’s talk land him in much of the same hot water?
“We don’t really have anything personally against each other, at least I don’t. I think a lot of it is fabricated just to hype the fight or to get him hyped up before the fight,” Condit commented. “For me, I don’t really see the point in talking trash about somebody you don’t even know when you’re going to get in there and actually try to kick their ass. Unless you actually have a beef with them, and then I’m not against talking trash.”
Condit’s philosophy is actions speak louder than words.
“No matter what the guy says, I get to go in there and try to break the guy’s jaw,” Condit said with confidence. “It will definitely be violent, and it will definitely be bloody.”
Condit and Hardy square off as the co-main event for UFC 120 in England this Saturday night.