There may not be another fighter in the entire world of MMA who relishes the moment of spoiling an opponent’s homecoming than UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit.
Over the years, Condit has somehow ended up competing in several opponents’ hometowns or home countries, where he is the odd man out, receiving the loudest jeers from the crowd, and yet he always seems to come out on top.
In November 2005, 21-year old Carlos Condit stepped into Hawaii, notoriously one of the hardest places for an ‘away’ player to deal with the hometown crowd especially when facing a local fighter.
That night Condit knocked out Hawaiian Ross Ebanez just 1:27 into the first round.
Almost like he was tempting fate, Condit went back to Hawaii just a couple of months later where he entered the Rumble on the Rock 175lb tournament, and in the first round he was matched up against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Renato ‘Charuto’ Verissimo.
While Verissimo was Brazilian in heritage, he had become a favorite around Hawaii due to his association as an instructor to B.J. Penn, and for anyone that’s ever visited the islands of Hawaii, Penn is a legend and like family to everyone in those parts.
Condit decided to top his last performance as he knocked out Verissimo in just 17 seconds with a vicious jumping knee attack.
Following that tournament, Condit returned to Japan for a series of fights in Pancrase, and again he took out three local fighters without blinking an eye, finishing all of them inside of three rounds.
Fast forward to June 2010 and Condit was entering his third fight in the UFC, and this time he was heading to Canada to take on young upstart Rory MacDonald in Vancouver, just a few hours away from his hometown in British Columbia.
Again, Condit seized the moment and finished MacDonald in the third round by strikes.
The opportunity to spoil another fighter’s homecoming came just one fight later when Condit was matched up with British bad boy Dan Hardy in London, England. The pre-fight chatter was some of the most heated the welterweight division had ever seen, but when the competition took place, Condit didn’t take long to dispatch of Hardy.
Condit floored Hardy with a huge punch in the later moments of the first round, and he put another win on his resume.
“The only thing I guess that would come close is when I fought Dan Hardy at the O2 Arena in London,” Condit recalled when asked about the volatile nature of stepping into another fighter’s country or hometown for a fight.
Playing the spoiler is the role Condit seems to enjoy the most, and he’ll get the chance once again when he faces Georges St-Pierre at UFC 154 in his hometown of Montreal in November.
St-Pierre has been voted Canadian Athlete of the Year three separate times, and he is one of the most widely recognized athletes throughout his home area in Montreal and the province of Quebec.
Condit doesn’t mind one bit that he won’t get cheered in Montreal, and he has no problem with Georges St-Pierre being the hometown sweetheart fighting at UFC 154. It will just make the victory taste that much sweeter when it happens.
“I kind of enjoy the role of the bad guy kind of coming into somebody else’s hometown and trying to defeat them,” Condit said.
In reality, there may not be a nicer or more cordial fighter than Carlos Condit, but when he’s asked to fight anybody in their hometown he can quickly change outfits and play Lex Luthor to St-Pierre’s Superman. If his track record is any indication, Condit may just hold the kryptonite to finally put St-Pierre away.
Click here to watch the entire UFC 154 pre-fight press conference featuring both Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre