Perennial UFC Welterweight contender Carlos Condit made a statement last night with his brutal TKO stoppage of Martin Kampmann. Although he was taken down repeatedly in a losing first round, Condit recovered well to utilize an insane striking pace to bloody Kampmann with vicious knees and punches, avenging the loss to he suffered in his 2009 Octagon debut.
Now the discussion will shift to the topic of Condit’s next opponent. The Greg Jackson-trained “Natural Born Killer” is in an odd spot in the talented UFC welterweight division right now, as he’s seemingly head-and-shoulders above the rest of the division, but has lost to both champion Georges St. Pierre and No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks inside of the last year.
Still, Condit put up an incredibly good fight against both of those tough opponents, and he may soon be headed for another date in the cage with either one. It can definitely be argued that Condit was gaining steam against Hendricks, and if the bout were a five round affair, he would have been the one to have his hand raised.
Against St. Pierre, Condit was thoroughly dominated on the ground, but he nearly put GSP away with a third round headkick that dazed the longtime champ. Last night, Kampmann appeared to take his gameplan directly from the success that GSP and ‘Bigg Rigg’ had.
But Kampmann is not the wrestler they are, and while takedowns may have won him his first bout against Condit and the first round of the rematch, all they ultimately did was tire him out to the point of being finished. Condit’s flawless gameplan, where he weathered the storm of Kampmann’s early onslaught and then unleashed a torrent of pinpoint power strikes, was pure genius.
There’s not too many Welterweights left in the UFC that can hang with Condit right now. A rematch with Rory MacDonald is most likely inevitable, but will have to wait. So, should Condit already begin the long wait for a shot at the winner of St. Pierre and Hendricks? Not yet. He’s very, very close to deserving another title shot, but he should get another impressive win under his belt. Problem is, there aren’t a ton of attractive options for him right now because most of the Top-10 has a fight booked.
Jake Ellenberger could be a potential opponent, but he probably doesn’t deserve a fight with Condit after his puzzling performance against McDonald at UFC on FX 9. Matt Brown has as much momentum as anybody right now, but he’s been linked to a December bout with former Strikeforce Welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine.
It’s an odd spot for Condit right now, but it’s not exactly horrible. He can bide his time and know that a top name opponent awaits. Will it be the Welterweight champion that emerges from UFC 167’s main event? The only chance of that is if GSP wins convincingly, because if Hendricks pulls off the upset, we’ll most likely see an immediate rematch.
Condit won’t sit that long, so who should be his next test?