Carlos Condit is used to not leaving his career in the hands of others.
Of Condit’s 32 career wins, he won 28 by knockout or submission — almost an even split between the two at 15 and 13, respectively — establishing himself as one of the most exciting and beloved fighters ever to compete at 170 pounds. Last month, the former interim UFC welterweight champion announced his retirement and on a recent episode of The MMA Hour he was asked for his thoughts on his legacy and how fighters can be taken care of after they’ve hung up the gloves.
“At this point, no,” Condit said when asked if he’s worried his achievements will be forgotten as time passes. “I’m proud of what I did. I’m proud of myself for how I walked in this sport and what I did so I’m not really all that concerned about it. The pension thing is a whole different thing. Security is a different conversation.
“But as far as my legacy, I did what I did and I feel like it speaks for itself and whether I’m remembered or not, I think — I don’t know, I’m not really all that concerned about it. I did what I did. I had zero idea when I got into this sport that it was going to go where it went, that I was gonna be able to do the things that I did, have the experiences that I’ve had, meet the people that I’ve met along the way. This whole thing it’s been a dream. Literally, this was my dream as a kid to do something with martial arts and I got to do it.”
Regarding a pension plan for fighters, Condit is eager to see it happen, but echoes the sentiment of others that the onus is on fighters to put the wheels in motion.
The discussion of what constitutes fair fighter pay has been ongoing for years and the conversation has become more prominent with recent public comments by Jon Jones, Jared Cannonier, and newfound boxing superstar Jake Paul, among several others. Paul, a world famous YouTube star before he crossed over into combat sports, has used his platform to publicly feud with UFC President Dana White over the issue.
“I hope so,” Condit said of fighter pension someday being established. “I think that there’s a lot of improvements to be made, but that’s gonna be on us. That’s gonna be on fighters to make that happen. Nobody’s gonna just hand that out to us. We have to do something. They’re not just gonna hand s*it out. We have to negotiate it and know our worth and know that we are the ones that make the sport.”
Condit has seen the business of MMA evolve rapidly since winning his first pro bout in 2002. He was there when the vast majority of fighters were being paid scraps, he was a champion in the World Extreme Cagefighting promotion before it merged with the UFC, and he’s been a star in the UFC for over a decade. If anyone has perspective on how much work fighters still have to do to improve their circumstances, it’s him.
After all, he’d never imagined that his own fighting career would ever go as far as it did.
“When I started it was, like, 2002,” Condit said. “The UFC was in its Dark Ages. No TV deal, it’s struggling. So I don’t think anybody had any idea. I mean, I was a huge fan so I was all in on this thing, but commercially who knew that it was going to blow up like it did?”