Condit a victim of UFC politics, waiting for his shot at title
How do you know when you’ve gotten yourself a UFC title shot? It’s simple, really. When you find yourself standing in the cage with the current champ on a Saturday night and the man in the black shirt is giving you the go-ahead to punch him in the face, that’s when you know.
Before that moment, nothing is certain. No matter what you’re promised, no matter how many posters or promo videos your face gets added to, that title shot isn’t really yours until they close the cage door behind you.
Nick Diaz found that out the hard way in September. Now it’s Carlos Condit’s turn.
Condit couldn’t have been too shocked when the UFC took his welterweight title shot and gave it right back to Diaz following UFC 137 last Saturday night. After all, the only reason he got the opportunity in the first place was because Diaz had screwed things up for himself by blowing off a couple of press conferences.
But with welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre injured, Condit had to wait for his chance to fight for a UFC title. While he waited, Diaz dominated B.J. Penn and then enraged GSP with a post-fight speech that accused the champ of faking an injury to get out of his obligations.
The combination of victory and crazy talk (does Diaz really believe that one of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters has developed a sudden fear of fighting?) was enough to convince the UFC to rebook GSP-Diaz, leaving Condit even worse off than when he started.
Is it fair? By normal logic, probably not. But by MMA standards it’s all in the game, as The Wire‘s Omar might say. You don’t own a title shot so much as borrow it. It can be yanked out from under you almost right up until the last minute, and if it is, perhaps the worst thing you can do to improve your standing with the UFC is publicly complain about it.
Then again, it doesn’t look good to the fans if you offer no resistance whatsoever, which might explain the delicate little tightrope walk that Condit’s camp is attempting to pull off this week.
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