The UFC post-fight press conference after UFC on Fox 21 revealed some fascinating insights into Carlos Condit’s mindset. This is a fighter that before the loss to Maia came within a hair’s breadth of beating Robbie Lawler for a title. He is only 32, he has been at the top of the game since March 2007 when he won the vacant WEC Welterweight Championship, and he has fought a who’s who of welterweight elite calibre fighters.
As usual, the keyboard warriors were out in force on social media as he lost quickly and decisively to Maia in the first round saying that he is done and should retire. Some of the soundbite’s from Condit certainly give the impression that he is leaning towards retirement. “I don’t know if I have any business fighting at this level anymore,” he said. “I don’t know if I can continue to take shots, honestly.”
Truth be told it, was surprising to hear Condit say that he got rocked from a punch by Maia in half guard as Maia is certainly not known as a power puncher. Condit has always been known as a gritty fighter who can absorb punishment. However, if you have an elite UFC fighter mounting you and punching you in the head, anyone can get rocked.
Carlos Condit is an extremely intelligent and articulate fighter and, if he were to choose to retire, he could do so with his head held high. Yes, it will of course be a stinging source of disappointment to him that he never became the undisputed UFC Welterweight Champion, to come so close against George St-Pierre and Robbie Lawler. But he is a champion in the eyes of the fans, media pundits, certainly myself.
His career is an MMA highlight reel from his overcoming adversity against Rory MacDonald, the split second KO of Dan Hardy when they punched at the same time, the flying knee against Dong Hyun Kim, and the technical accuracy and gameplan against Nick Diaz to claim the interim belt – along with many, many more.
There will be some pleading with him to continue to fight as he is so entertaining and certainly could be matched against a host of names, and I do feel if he never fights Donald Cerrone that my life may never be complete. That will not come soon as Cerrone is on a hell of a streak, but one more win for Condit and a bout with “Cowboy” could conceivably become a no. 1 contenders fight for the both of them at 170 pounds. That would also allow “Wonderboy” and possibly Maia to get the shots that they deserve.
What will hurt Condit is the way in which he goes out of the sport. To come so close to the title yet again and then to lose so quickly against Maia will not sit well with him. He said himself: “I’d hate to go out on a loss like this. I’ve at least to have put on an exciting show like I usually do.”
If Condit does decide to call it a career, he will have been a WEC champion, an interim UFC champion, have a career of 30-10, and will have earned enough money to become comfortable no matter what else he chooses to do. It is ultimately his choice and I am fine with whatever he chooses. If he continues, then as fans we are all winners. If he retires, then he gets to do so on his own terms, walking out near the top of the game when he wants to and not when doctors tell him to.
Thank you Carlos Condit.
NOW CHECK OUT MY PREVIOUS COLUMN HERE: Am I the only one who’s not enamored by Nick & Nate Diaz and their antics? A list of likes and dislikes to put them in perspective
(Christopher King of Arundel, England is a new MMATorch contributor. He got hooked on MMA after watching UFC 114 featuring “Rampage” Jackson vs. Rashad Evans and from there, he says, “I spent a ridiculous amount of money and time watching every event from UFC 1 up to the present so I could understand the history of the sport, the fighters, the weight divisions and everything else in between. It was the style of fighting that drew me in, in order to see what martial art was the most effective, and from there, the fighters themselves, their story, their training and the sacrifices that they go through.” Follow him on Twitter – @ChristofKing)