Condit says stakes are high on Saturday night and retirement is an option if he loses

By Wade Keller, MMATorch editor

Carlos Condit (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

Carlos Condit is again talking openly about retirement if he loses Saturday night on UFC’s Fox card. Condit may only be 32 – five years younger than C.M. Punk whose fighting his first UFC content next month – but he’s also fighting his 40th professional fight on Saturday night.

“I’ve been at this for a long time and I got to look at some other things I can do to make a living,” he said on FS1’s “UFC Tonight” show last night. “I can’t fight forever. But I still have a little bit of time left. I love what I do, so I decided to give it a little more time.”

He talked about retiring before his last loss to Robbie Lawler, a heart-breaking split decision by the judges in a match with the UFC Welterweight Title at stake. The Fight of the Night honors and how close he came inspired him to continue on. He was hoping that performance would get him a title rematch, but it didn’t. He said he watched the fight back and agreed it was super-close, but thinks he won the overall fight. “It depends on what the judge was looking at.” He said he hit cleaner shots, but Lawler was more aggressive.

Daniel Cormier asked why he came back for a non-title match even though he said he wouldn’t return except for a title fight. “I didn’t get the shot, but I still want to fight and I feel a win over Maia puts me right back in title contention,” he said. In fact, he says he deserves a title shot if he beats the red-hot Maia. “I do,” he said. “I felt like I deserved it after the Lawler fight. To beat a guy who’s on a run like Maia has been on, would get me the shot.”

So how does he beat Maia? He has an idea. “I need to use my reach, range and my footwork,” he said. “I need to fight smart and create opportunities when I can and capitalize on them.”

Keller’s Analysis: Condit came across in this interview as the type of “Face of UFC” that can represent the company and the sport of MMA so well. That alone isn’t a reason to necessarily root for him, but if does win and goes on to be the champ, he can promote fights well and provide intelligent, accessible interviews and promote the sport well to the masses. He’s a good person to be in the main event on a Fox broadcast for that reason with the reach of those shows.

Earlier today, MMATorch columnist Chris Hunt previewed this fight in-depth: CLICK TO READ

HUNT: In-depth look at Saturday’s Carlos Condit vs. Demian Maia main event on UFC’s live Fox card

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