Carlos Condit hit the ground running after a year on the sidelines last night in Goiania, with a devastating second round showing against a resurgent Thiago Alves.
"The Natural Born Killer" went into the bout as the number four-ranked welterweight on the UFC’s books. The Jackson-Winkeljohn man battered Alves with a plethora of his signature elbows that left both men covered in the Brazilian’s blood. After the doctors stopped ‘The Pitbull’ from rejoining the action in the third round, Condit has emerged from the main event clash, once again, in the title conversation.
Now, if Robbie Lawler manages to defend his title against Rory MacDonald on July 11, the New Mexico native might find himself in quite a formidable queue for a shot alongside Jonny Hendricks and Tyron Woodley. However, should MacDonald take the victory at UFC 189, Condit may be “fast-tracked” to a title shot to a certain extent. MacDonald’s 2010 loss to Condit, the first of his career, has been something that the Canadian has been quite vocal about rectifying over the years. To add to that, should he take victory over Lawler, Condit will be the last of MacDonald’s two professional losses that he will want to get back.
It seemed the two had been matched up a little too early back at UFC 115. MacDonald, then ‘The Waterboy’, was only 20 years old at the time and had impressed in his UFC debut six months prior to the meeting with Condit by taking a first round armbar win over Michael Guymon. Condit came into the UFC ranks after capturing the WEC welterweight title, and although he had fought to two split decisions against Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger, his potential under the banner was obvious to most.
MacDonald, a far more adolescent looking fighter back then who almost seemed uncomfortable in the Octagon despite boasting an immense skillset, dominated the opening two rounds of UFC 115 contest. He mixed up his striking and grappling fantastically well. It was a coming out party for the young man who many saw as ‘the next big thing’ in the MMA world. Although the second round had been closer than the first, a front kick that grazed Condit’s face and knocked him to the floor gave MacDonald the edge over two rounds going into the final frame.
Greg Jackson ordered “five minutes of hell” from Condit before the third got underway, and ‘The Natural Born Killer’ answered by putting in a vintage round of devastation with his elbows, bludgeoning the face of the young prospect. Rory was clearly gassed in the final minute as Condit poured on his assault from top position. There were seven seconds left in the fight when it was officially stopped. In front of his hometown British Columbia crowd, MacDonald snatched defeat from the jaws of victory based on the first two rounds of the bout.
Unsurprisingly, both MacDonald and Condit would become title contenders after they met. The ever-presence of George St Pierre at the top of division kept MacDonald out of the running due to him moving his training over to Tristar while Condit would become the interim champion by beating Nick Diaz back in February 2012. Although he would lose a five round decision to GSP to become the undisputed champion, the French Canadian icon would insist after the bout that Condit was the best he had ever faced. Famously, St Pierre was dropped by a head kick of Condit’s in the third round that nearly finished the contest.
MacDonald has been haunted by the loss to Condit throughout his career. After his three round pummeling of BJ Penn in 2012, the talented BC man took an opportunity to call out Condit in his post-fight address, claiming he had been “humiliated” by him back in 2010.
“There’s a guy who humiliated me a couple years ago and I want revenge,” he boomed. “Carlos Condit, let’s do it in March, my home territory. I want to get my revenge.”
Although it was clear to many that MacDonald wanted a second shot at Condit, the callout seemed to confuse some people, including "The Natural Born Killer".
“I think the whole thing was pretty, I don’t know, the tone of it made it seem like I had wronged him,” Condit replied to the callout. “Like I did something wrong. I was just doing what the hell I’m supposed to do.”
Although they tried to make the rematch happen at UFC 158 on March 16 2013, an injury forced MacDonald out of the much-anticipated rematch.
Whether they meet for the belt or not, it seems like a rematch between the two is something that the MMA universe would be very open to. In fact, should MacDonald pick up another loss to Lawler it might make even more sense to match him with Condit in the circumstances. Condit has lost to both Hendricks and Woodley, and although he and Rory would make for a far more exciting matchup, skipping the queue ahead of "Big Rig" and "T-Wood" might not go down well with the masses.
Both fighters have shown obvious improvements since their initial meeting five years ago. Under the Tristar banner, MacDonald looks a cert to become the welterweight title holder in the future and given his well known competitive streak, there is no doubt that "The Red King" will want to prove he is a better fighter than Condit half a decade removed from their first exchange. With that being said, Condit proved last night that he is every bit as dangerous as he has been throughout his UFC career. There is no doubt that the rematch is one that fans around the world would jump at the chance of seeing should it be announced in the future.
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