UFC welterweight Carlos Condit has a lot to be proud of this year. After coming off of a 4-0 winning streak in the past three years, Condit won the interim welterweight championship after a hard-fought decision victory against Nick Diaz at UFC 143. This win granted him a highly anticipated title shot against longtime champ Georges St-Pierre who was returning after over a year off. The two fiught at UFC 154 in mid-November.
The fight was a clear victory for St-Pierre save for a heart-stopping moment in the third round when Condit landed a flush head kick that dropped the champion. Now, in an attempt to rebound from the loss, Condit has agreed to fight former opponent Rory MacDonald. The two fought in a Fight of the Night performance back at UFC 115 in 2009, as Condit took home a controversial TKO victory after being outworked in the earlier two rounds and pulling out the stoppage with just seconds left in the third.
That was two years ago now, however, and Condit claims that he is a much better fighter, one that is a much worse match-up for MacDonald than both his former self and MacDonald’s last opponent, B.J. Penn:
“I’m a different fighter,” Condit told ESPN.com. “I’m a bigger, more physically imposing fighter. I’m in my prime right now. And I can’t say the same for BJ.”
Condit feels that coming off a fight against an opponent like St-Pierre will ultimately make him an even more dangerous opponent for MacDonald:
“I proved that I can compete with the best in the world,” Condit said. “I almost had the fight in the bag. With some adjustments and a few tweaks in my game, I’m going to be able to capitalize on those moments that I had in the last fight.”
What’s worse for Condit is that his rematch wasn’t a decision made behind closed doors to later be announced to the public. Instead, it was a public challenge from MacDonald after he defeated B.J. Penn at UFC on FOX 5. This made the challenge one that would be hard for Condit to refuse, especially due to the fact that he believes he is the better fighter:
“I’m also fired up because I was called out on national television,” Condit said. “I gave him the worst beating of his life. I beat the snot out of him.”
In a division with arguably the deepest talent pool, (as is every division these days), Condit will be looking to make a statement with a decisive win over MacDonald and one that will not only solidify his place at the top of the division, but also send MacDonald down the ladder:
“He can come up with all the excuses that he wants; he’s got to fight me again.”
“Rory has a lot of hype behind him; people are talking about him. A win over him — another win over him — will put me right back in the [Welterweight Title] mix.”
The rematch is slated to take place on the stacked UFC 158 card, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on March 16th.
The card also showcases two other welterweight fights that will surely determine both a number one contender and the next title elimination fight, setting up any welterweight title match-ups for the foreseeable future. In the main event, UFC welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre takes on Nick Diaz while Johny Hendricks battles Jake Ellenberger. All three fights will appear on the main card.
Thanks to ESPN.com for the interview.
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