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As Carlos Condit's return approaches, he expects teammate Jon Jones to do same

Guilherme Cruz photo

As his teammate at Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque, Carlos Condit is closer than most to former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones than most.

So while Jones' future is up in the air as he waits for his current legal situation to play out, Condit believes that we'll see the world's top pound-for-pound fighter back in the Octagon when all is said and done.

"Jon's been around the gym a little bit, which is good," Condit said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I like to see him down there. It's a crazy situation that he's going to have to deal with. I think having him in gym doing what he does best, training and trying to keep that side of his life going, is a good thing. [I] Talked to him briefly, but not about incident but about situation. He said, I'll be back, I'm going to be back. I believe him, there's no doubt. I think there's a good chance. In his mind he's fighting again."

Condit would know a thing or two about having to put your career on hold awhile, albeit for far different reasons than Jones. On May 30, Condit will meet Thiago Alves in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card in Brazil, which will mark his first fight in more than 14 months.

The former UFC interim and WEC welterweight champion has been out since tearing an ACL in a loss to Tyron Woodley at UFC 171, and he's not afraid to admit that sating on the sidelines was not an easy process.

"Any time I watch fights I get anxious and I get inspired," Condit said. "I wouldn't quite say anxious. Not being able to do anything, I just kinda had to step back and watch as a spectator, especially in my division. I couldn't have too much emotional involvement in what was going on, or I would go crazy."

While Condit believes the injury was simply a fluke thing that happened on a takedown attempt, he's not going to take anything away from Woodley's victory.

"As far as I know, the knee was fine going into the fight," Condit said. "On a takedown, something weird happened, I'm almost positive that's where I blew out ACL. I popped back up and got kicked in my other leg. When I went to pivot, I had no ACL knee and the knee just buckled.  He initiated the takedown, I hurt my knee on the takedown. I get taken down quite a bit I don't always blow my ACL I just think it was kind of a freak thing. I give credit to him, he was winning the fight and then I lost on an injury, but he won the fight. I'm not taking anything away from him."

Quite a bit has changed in the welterweight division since Condit went down. Johny Hendricks defeated Robbie Lawler on that same UFC 171 card to win the vacant belt, only to drop it on a split decision to Lawler in a December rematch. Lawler defends his title at UFC 189 against Rory MacDonald, a fighter whom Condit defeated in 2010.

While a rematch with MacDonald could be interesting, there's still the matter of both fighters winning their current fights ahead of them before any of that can go down. And while Condit vs. Alves could potentially be an action-packed fight, it won't be a grudge match. Condit and Alves both have the same agent and have a cordial relationship, so there won't be any artificial animosity.

"We're cool, you know?" Condit said of Alves. Before I fought Dan Hardy, my coaches hadn't yet went out to London and I needed someone to hold pads for me, and he held the pads a little bit out there. We're acquaintances, we're cool."

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