MONTREAL – As Saturday’s UFC 158 event inches closer, Carlos Condit seems resigned to the fact that he’s going to get as many questions about his next fight as he is about his current one.
When you’re a former interim champ, co-headlining a major card, and have many fellow contenders putting you in their crosshairs, every scenario is open for debate.
During today’s UFC 158 open workouts at Montreal’s Complexe Desjardins, Condit (28-6 MMA, 5-2 UFC) answered many questions. Many were about his opponent, Johny Hendricks (14-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC), but just as many were geared around what’s next.
Should his fight be a title eliminator? Would he actually get the title shot if he beats the surging Hendricks? And would the UFC actually book him for a rematch with champion Georges St-Pierre, who defeated Condit just four months ago?
“We’ll see. You never know,” said Condit, who co-headlines Saturday’s pay-per-view event at Montreal’s Bell Centre. “The title picture is never a straight line. There’s always the talk of the super fight between Georges and (middleweight champion) Anderson (Silva). We’ll see. I don’t know. I’m not sure about that, but I just need to focus on beating Johny Hendricks.”
That’s been a constant theme for Condit, a former WEC champ who went 12-1 from 2006-2012. As reporters and fans want to know about potential post-UFC 158 plans, Condit continually shifts the focus back to Hendricks. After all, you don’t easily dismiss a former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion on a five-fight UFC win streak, especially when he’s viciously knocked out notables such as T.J. Waldburger, Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann.
“I think Johny Hendricks is a competitor and a gamer,” Condit told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “He’s a highly decorated college wrestler, and I think he’s going to be ready to fight on Saturday night.
“Lately he’s been showing his standup and his knockout ability. But he does have a well-rounded ability. He made a great transition from wrestling to mixed martial arts. I think he’s got some jiu-jitsu and ground game he hasn’t showed. I’m expecting a tough fight, but I think we’ve done well preparing for him.”
Condit has a history with both of UFC 158's headliners. In addition to the St-Pierre loss, he narrowly edged Diaz via split decision a year ago to win the interim title. As for a prediction in their headlining matchup, he’s expected a win for St-Pierre, though he wouldn’t be surprised if Diaz pulls off the upset.
Does Condit have a preference, especially if he gets a winner?
“It’d be a great scenario to be in the title picture again and be in another title fight no matter who it was against,” he said. “Of course I want to avenge my loss (to St-Pierre), but like you said, it’s a hypothetic what-if.”
For more on UFC 158, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.