You’d think looking at Carlos Condit‘s record that he’d often be talked about as the best welterweight on the planet, and possibly even one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
He’s lost only one time in the past six years, and he has a higher finishing rate than any fighter currently holding a title in the UFC. Condit has made it his business to fight in other people’s hometowns, put together the perfect strategy when necessary, and even knockout a few loudmouths when his services are called upon.
But still as he comes into his fight against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 154, which is being hailed as the grand homecoming and return fight for the greatest welterweight to ever step foot in the Octagon, Condit is once again somehow being overlooked.
Where would the fight take place? How big would that fight be for the UFC? Will Anderson Silva confront Georges in the Octagon?
The key component forgotten in all those theories is the man that St-Pierre still has to go through before any of that can become a reality. Condit knows he’s the monkey wrench that can destroy everybody’s plans. He can be the away team the spoils the homecoming. He’s the guy that can ruin Georges St-Pierre’s big return.
Condit is well aware of all of those factors, and when he thinks about it, his normal steely gaze cracks with the slightest smile.
“I have nothing to lose. He’s out there, he’s got his friends, his family, everybody’s watching, he’s in his hometown, I feel like all the pressure’s on him,” Condit told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I can just go out there and shine.”
Shine is something Condit has done while tarnishing the records of the best and brightest in the UFC. Down two rounds to none, Condit came back and pounded out St-Pierre’s training partner Rory MacDonald when they fought in 2010.
Dan Hardy was excited about his big homecoming celebration as he returned to England, and instead he woke up staring at the lights, courtesy of a big punch from Carlos Condit.
Nick Diaz had seemingly already punched his ticket to travel to Montreal to face St-Pierre when he returned from knee surgery, but instead he came away with a unanimous decision loss thanks to Carlos Condit.
“It’s a very familiar role,” Condit said. “I’ve found myself in this position time and time again throughout my career, and I really think that I thrive as the underdog, I don’t have a lot to lose, I don’t feel a lot of pressure. I can go out there and just have fun, do what I came to do, which is fight.”
Heading into this fight, Condit has heard St-Pierre’s proclamations that prior to having knee surgery he felt he lost something inside. St-Pierre stated on numerous occasions that he no longer felt the hunger or fire needed to be a champion, but after more than a year away from the sport, something has been rekindled inside of him.
“When you have the belt and you have all the success, sometimes you’re not as hungry as you were when you were the young up and comer trying to make your mark in the sport. I think that has something to do with it,” Condit explains when speaking about St-Pierre.
Condit is excited that St-Pierre found himself during the down time because he doesn’t want to face a version of the champion that comes in at 50-percent. Condit wants St-Pierre firing on all cylinders so when it’s all over, no one can point at him and say he beat an already broken man.
Condit wants to beat the best fighter in the world, the best Georges St-Pierre we’ve ever seen, and that’s going to make the taste of victory all the sweeter.
“I’m expecting Georges to come into this fight with a lot more fire inside. I know he’s taken a lot of criticism in the past for his recent title defenses, he’s been out for a long time, and according to him he’s found all new motivation. I’m excited about that. I would love to fight the Georges who’s hungry, and wanting to go out there and really display his skills. That’s Georges St-Pierre is the best, and that’s the guy that I’ve admired and been a fan of for many years,” said Condit.
“This is basically the culmination of 14 years of mixed martial arts training, a lot of dedication, a lot of sacrifice. On a lot of different levels it’s going to be very satisfying.”