After an illustrious 15-year career in MMA spanning 40 fights, former interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit publicly questioned if he still belonged fighting the best in the world following a shockingly rapid first-round submission loss to Demian Maia in his last bout in August 2016.
But when ‘The Natural Born Killer’ asked UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby for a fight on social media, the fight game saw the flame of one of its most exciting mainstays seemingly lit yet again, and during a time when the UFC needs it most.
Condit was subsequently booked for a return bout versus longtime contender Neil Magny at December 30’s UFC 219, signifying his still-burning commitment to the gladiator sport upon which he’s made such an amazing impact.
Perhaps looking to clear the air concerning his lengthy break, Condit discussed the return of his desire to compete during a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani, confirming his fighting spirit had never left but noting that his understandably down state lead to some disappointment in his performance.
“That feeling never really left honestly, man,” Condit said. “I’m a fighter, this is what I love to do, there’s obviously a lot of different factors that go into making decisions. And as important as what I’m doing with my life and career and all that stuff. I think I wanted to fight, I’ll probably want to fight until the day I’m dead.
“At the time, [I was] feeling very dejected, disappointed,” Condit said. “And I’m a competitive person and I obviously fell short in, in my eyes, a really sh*tty way, because even fights I lost in the past in the UFC, I’ve still gone there and fought my ass off and put on hell of a show, And that fight I wasn’t able to do that and that added to the sting.”
A member of Albuquerque’s famed Jackson-Wink MMA, Condit also described how he spent his time away from the cage pursuing other business ventures. But after awhile, his competitive side continued to urge him to compare his skills to those of the other best fighters in the world.
And ultimately, fighting is what he loves, he said, and there are bills to pay, meaning it’s time for him to return:
“I’ve been debating and kind of getting back in the gym here and there and seeing where I’m at against other competitive fighters, and I did not, I was not sure; I was on the fence for a long time.
“There’s a lot of different factors,” Condit said. “I still love to fight, I still love to train, I love the process, I love the people I’ve surrounded myself with, I love my team and also, honestly there’s a financial piece to this, too. This is my trade, this is what I do. I didn’t go to college. I don’t have a whole lot of options as far as backup plans. I’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed, so, let’s strap up the gloves and get to it.”
Despite a deservedly elite reputation thanks to an incredible 28 finishes in 30 wins, the No. 7-ranked Condit has a long and winding road back to a title shot in the notoriously rough welterweight waters.
He’s lost five out of his last seven bouts, even if many still believe his split decision loss to Robbie Lawler and his unanimous decision defeat to Johny Hendricks should have gone his way, in addition to him losing to current champion Tyron Woodley due to a torn ACL.
That said, he’s also fought the absolute best without hesitation, and most of the time, he took them to the limit. A few classic Condit wins could see him back in the title hunt right away, and perhaps a bout versus the winner of UFC 217’s Stephen Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal tilt could be in the works while Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos battle to see who takes on the currently injured Woodley at December’s UFC on FOX 26.