For Carlos Condit, UFC 171 bout with Tyron Woodley just 'another day at the office'
Itâ€™s another year, and another big fight in the UFC for Carlos Condit. Heâ€™s getting used to it, which may or may not be a good thing.
At the very least, itâ€™s something Condit (29-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC)Â has experience with. This Saturday night in Dallas, heâ€™ll fight Tyron Woodley (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC)Â in UFC 171′s pay-per-view co-headliner. Heâ€™s been told that a win will get him another crack at the UFC welterweight title, which will go up for grabs in the main-event bout between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler on the same night.
That makes this a pretty important fight for Condit. Then again, so was his interim title bout against Nick Diaz and the unification bout against Georges St-Pierre that followed, and though he went 1-1 in those two, neither went the way he wanted.
â€œThose two fights were kind of unique,â€ Condit told MMAjunkie. â€œIt wasnâ€™t so much the pressure, but I just felt a little bit flat as far as my motivation, which is kind of weird. I was just in a weird spot. In the past I always had this fire going into fights, just this absolute resolve to make it a bloodbath. In those fights, it just wasnâ€™t there for whatever reason.â€
The result was perhaps the most lackluster decision win of his career against Diaz, followed by a fairly one-sided decision loss to St-Pierre. The good news is, now Condit has that experience. He knows that a big fight doesnâ€™t necessarily equal a burning desire to dominate. Some guys might get too jacked up on adrenaline in that situation, but Conditâ€™s problem seems to be getting the juices flowing when he needs them.
Again, he knows that now, thanks to his recent experiences. The question is, will knowing it help him avoid it this time around?
According to Condit, itâ€™s not a problem you can solve on fight night.
â€œI think it starts way further out,â€ he said. â€œIt starts in your camp, in how youâ€™re preparing and how youâ€™re training. You just try to gain momentum and let that intensity snowball until you get to the fight. I definitely think weâ€™re on the right track with that this time, but regardless of whether you feel like a million bucks or whether you feel flat, youâ€™ve got to go out there and perform. The other guy is coming to kick your ass either way.â€
The other guy in this case is Woodley, who landed this fight after an initially unsuccessful text message campaign, and who raised some eyebrows earlier this month when he labeled Condit a point fighter who â€œdoesnâ€™t just come out there and start banging on people.â€
â€œThatâ€™s not his style,â€ Woodley told MMAjunkieâ€™s Mike Bohn. â€œHe comes out there, and he overwhelms you with volume. He point fights.â€
Of course, as others were quick to point out, that doesnâ€™t explain why Condit has finished 27 of his 29 career wins, or why he had 17 pro fights to his credit before he ever went past the first round. Itâ€™s stats like those that help Condit shrug off Woodleyâ€™s remarks as â€œkind of a weird statement.â€
â€œBut I donâ€™t care,â€ Condit said, â€œbecause I get to get in there and finish him and make him into one of those guys that knows thatâ€™s not what I am or who I am or how I fight.â€
That is, if he can get up for this fight, and if he can make the most of what might be his last best chance to fight his way into another UFC title shot. The way Condit sees it, his best bet might be to treat it like nothing special, which maybe it isn’t once you’ve been through it enough.
â€œIâ€™ve been in a lot of big fights,â€ Condit said. â€œIâ€™ve felt the pressure. Going into this fight, I feel like itâ€™s another day at the office. Iâ€™ve been here before, Iâ€™ve done this, and as long as the preparation is there, I know I can physically go in there and do what I have to do. And Iâ€™ve done that, so I donâ€™t have a whole lot to worry about. I just have to remember to keep my hands up.â€
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