Former interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit knows a thing or two about big fights.
Two of his last three opponents were Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks. While Condit may have lost those bouts, he gave arguably the best two 170-pound fighters in the world a run for their money.
Condit nearly finished “GSP” with a third round headkick, and it was clear that he was gaining steam against “Bigg Rigg” after three rounds. Most believe "The Natural Born Killer” would have definitely won that fight had it been of the five round variety.
At March 15’s UFC 171, however, Condit will meet a challenge of a different breed. Set to face former NCAA Division I wrestling standout Tyron Woodley, Condit knows that this fight, while not as high profile as some of his recent outings, will still be a very stiff test. He told Bleacher Report that Woodley’s skillset, while still being adapted to the MMA cage, is nonetheless very dangerous and should not be overlooked:
"Woodley is a great wrestler. He’s a very accomplished amateur wrestler and he’s transitioning into a great mixed martial artist. He has a lot of depth with his wrestling skills. He’s very good at a few things, but he’s still fairly green to this sport. Those things he does well are still extremely dangerous."
Those are true words, and Condit’s main weakness has always been his wrestling. St. Pierre took him down repeatedly to smash him with elbows and grind out a decision over five rounds, while former NCAA wrestling champion Hendricks took him down an alarming 12 times. He’ll need to have sharpened his takedown defense to avoid the same fate against Woodley.
However, “T-Wood” has preferred to let his thunderous knockout power fight his battles as of late, most notably with his Earth-shattering stoppage of Josh Koscheck at UFC 167. No matter how this fight plays out, Condit knows that Woodley is the only man standing in the way of his ultimate goal of regaining championship status:
“Obviously first thing is first and I have to take care of this business with Woodley. But I’m absolutely trying to get another title shot. I’m trying to get the belt around my waist. The opportunities are short-lived sometimes and Woodley is standing between me and getting the title back. He’s standing between me and some of those big-money fights. He’s standing between me and some of my goals and dreams."
Woodley may not be a huge name yet, but he is beyond dangerous, and Condit knows it. With one of most alarming finishing rates in all of MMA, “The Natural Born Killer” will be ready for anything Woodley brings to the cage in Dallas, Texas, on March 15.
But even if he knows what’s coming, will he be able to stop it? If he can, we’ll most likely see “The Natural Born Killer” fight the winner of that night’s main event between Hendricks and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler in one more shot at gold.