In a way, Carlos Condit is gambling on himself every time he sets foot in the UFC octagon, but the stakes are even higher ahead of his clash with Matt Brown on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Prior to his return at UFC Fight Island 7, the former interim welterweight champion revealed that he’s about to compete on the final fight of his current contract with the promotion. Condit didn’t disclose if this was a conscious decision to potentially test free agency or if the UFC is possibly seeing how he performs before offering him a new deal after he suffered through a 1-5 skid in his past six fights.
Whatever the reason, “The Natural Born Killer” acknowledged the pressure that comes along with a moment such as this even if it’s nothing new to him.
“All of this is a gamble,” Condit told MMA Fighting during the UFC Fight Island 7 media day. “We get to ante up against another guy and put everything on the line and winner takes all.
“That’s the beauty of it. That’s the thrill of all this sh*t, even more so when you’re up for a new contract.”
While Condit has been a consistent performer for the UFC after joining the roster by way of the WEC acquisition back in 2009, he understands that he’s not been at his best over the past few years.
A series of tough losses haunted Condit until he finally got back on track with an impressive showing against Court McGee this past October. Now with a highly-anticipated fight with Brown this weekend, Condit is ready to prove that he can still hang with the best of the best in the UFC.
“I mean my performance over the last couple of years has not been stellar,” Condit said. “Has not been the best period of my career as far as wins and losses. What’s really important is putting on a good show on Saturday night and then I think I’ll be in a good position to kind of figure out exactly what I want to do.”
Condit has spent the majority of his UFC career positioned near the top of the welterweight division while being involved in a trio of title fights over the past 11 years.
Those days aren’t necessarily behind him as he looks ahead at his future but then again Condit can’t deny the financial incentive that has to be considered when looking at his next contract as well as the opponents he’s facing.
“Part of me wants to test myself against any other guy in the division. Part of me wants—probably the bigger part of me wants the bigger money fights,” Condit said. “The fights that there’s a lot of hype around. I’d like a rematch maybe against Nick Diaz if he comes back, something like that.
“There’s a lot of hype behind Nick even though he hasn’t fought in a long time. I’d imagine he’d want that fight. I guess that was somewhat of a controversial decision even though it was a unanimous decision and I feel like I won the fight but a lot of people don’t think so.”
Win or lose, if the UFC opts not to bring Condit back after his fight on Saturday, the 36-year-old veteran isn’t planning to walk away from the sport.
“I love what I do and if I could still get out there and get paid to fight people, I think I’d entertain the idea of fighting for another organization,” Condit said.
First things first, Condit needs to put an end to a seven-year long saga with Brown after they were initially scheduled to meet all the way back in 2013. A back injury forced Brown out of that fight and then the Ohio native had to drop out of their scheduled bout in 2018 after suffering a torn ACL in his knee.
Now with the fight just days away, Condit is excited to finally face Brown in what most expect to be a crowd-pleasing affair.
“It’s cliché but don’t blink. I feel like I’m going to get this thing done,” Condit said. “We’re both aggressive fighters. We’re both very skilled strikers. Everybody wants to see a striking battle.
“That’s the thing. We’re well-rounded guys. We’re mixed martial artists but people always want to see a striking battle between a couple of guys who like to get after it.”