Following one of the greatest welterweight title fights in UFC history against Robbie Lawler in January, Carlos Condit didn’t know if he wanted to continue fighting.
But he didn’t make a rash decision. “The Natural Born Killer” took some time away and realized he still had some work left to do.
“I can’t do this forever, but I still got a little bit of time,” Condit said. “I still got some fight in me.”
That is great news for fight fans, especially in Vancouver on Saturday night when Condit takes on No. 3-ranked Demian Maia in a must-see title eliminator on FOX.
The five-round main event was originally tabbed for UFC 202, which would have meant only three rounds. The extra 10 minutes could be a huge advantage for Condit, who is known for his cardio.
“My conditioning is a weapon and the later the fight goes – as these guys start getting fatigued is when I start kicking in to my second gear,” Condit said. “I’m trying to finish him early and go home and eat some food, but if it goes later in the fight I got that base covered, too.”
Condit has moved on from the loss against Lawler, a fight that some believe he won. But the feelings of disappointment linger.
“That was a tough thing,” Condit said. “I fought my ass off that night and I trained my ass off in preparation for that fight. I’m so proud of my performance. I went out there and literally left everything I had in the cage that night. I think my stock rose even though I lost the fight.”
Now Condit is solely focused on Maia and committed to one more run at the unified title that has eluded him.
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Condit put on a show at Fight Night Vancouver Open Workouts on Thursday, playing to the crowd in attendance with big kicks and fake wrestling moves with his wrestling coach Ricky Lundell. The No. 4-ranked welterweight seems loose and prepared for his test on fight night.
The training camp geared toward figuring out how to take out Maia has been some of the most fun Condit has had before a fight.
“It has been a fun challenge,” he said. “He’s an amazing grappler, he’s very good at what he does and he’s well-rounded even though he mainly sticks to his jiu-jitsu. It’s been fun preparing to try and solve a puzzle like Demian Maia.”
What’s next for Condit? He isn’t quite sure yet. He’s taking one fight at a time and knows if he doesn’t beat Maia, all of his plans won’t mean much.
Condit certainly isn’t looking past Maia.
“I’m focused on the next three days and I think that will have a lot of bearing on what I do after that,” he said.
Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC