Photo: Mark J. Rebilas for USA TODAY Sports

Former interim UFC champion Carlos Condit nearly had a much-needed victory in his short notice co-main event bout with Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira at last Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 29.

However, as can happen in mixed martial arts (MMA), “The Natural Born Killer” saw victory slip from his grasp and turn to defeat in the second round when a vicious upkick from the Brazilian ‘Cowboy’ shifted the bout’s momentum and opened the doorway for a fight-ending guillotine choke from Oliveira.

Instead of a rebound win, Condit was left pondering his MMA future following a four-fight skid.

Once arguably the sport’s most dependable finisher, he’s not scored a stoppage since his win over similarly fading Thiago Alves in 2015 and had even contemplated retirement following his submission loss to Demian Maia after a narrowly failed title bout versus then-champ Robbie Lawler that January.

For a fighter like the “Natural Born Killer,” getting choked out was not a usual occurrence, and he recently reacted to the brutal loss in an emotionally honest assessment of the defeat and current status on his official Instagram page:

“Post choke out, where the fuck am I , WTF happened, feeling kinda warm and fuzzy , hope I didn’t just piss my shorts on live TV , thousand yard stare. I’ve posted plenty of pictures looking like a Badass. Triumphant and powerful… But here’s the flip side, crumpled and weak in defeat. Rough day at the office ?

Fuck it though, I had fun. I trained my ass off and I came to fight. This is what leaving it all out there looked like on Saturday. Much respect to my opponent and his team. Thank you for taking the fight on short notice. Congratulations and best of luck in the future.

I don’t know what’s next guys… I still love this game, and most days I still feel that fire, I absolutely love what it do, but maybe my time has passed. I don’t know the answer. this is what I know, this is my passion. I will never stop training, and If that leads me back to the the octagon, you know I’ll try to make it bloody for ya.

Right now I’m looking forward to summer shenanigans with my sons and to expanding @hundredhandscoffee .”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhqJTQvjzOI/?utm_source=ig_embed

Condit’s head and heart seem to be halfway in the fighting game and halfway out, a tough spot to be in for any pro athlete, especially one whose downfall leads to the massive amount of physical damage as that of an elite MMA fighter.

It simply cannot be denied that he’s one of the most beloved, old-school fighters for his sheer willingness to throw down in some of the best fights the UFC and WEC have ever seen, and his commitment to the fight game also should never go unnoticed.

If that’s waning now after his decorated career and mounting defeats, well, we simply couldn’t blame him for stepping down if he feels the time is right.

Do you believe one of the UFC’s best-ever welterweights should call it a day in MMA?