Carlos Condit woke up on Wednesday morning prepared to train for his upcoming bout against B.J. Penn at UFC 137. By the end of the day, he had accepted a fight with welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, and hopped on a plane headed for Las Vegas. MMA Nation's Luke Thomas caught up with Condit to talk about his wild week.
"I don't know. I think if you're not ready or willing to do this side of it, the PR, then you're not ready to be the champion or even a title contender. Not only do we have to fight, we have to sell these fights. It's a business and that's how money is made."
On changing camp
"I had anticipated that B.J. would want to take me down and utilize his ground game so we had already been working on wrestling quite a bit. B.J. is no slouch when it comes to that. Honestly we aren't changing too much up. I'm trying to improve on the areas that I need to work on, wrestling being one of them. We are fighting a different athlete in Georges but I think the preparation will be similar except that this will be a five rounder instead of a three rounder."
Who will train him?
"This scenario is one that I saw on the horizon a while back as I was doing well in the UFC and moving up the ranks. I saw this fight as a possibility that was going to happen. I got a plan together and talked to several people, Mike Winklejohn being one of them as you mentioned but also one of the founding members of Jackson's is a guy named Chris Latrell who's an incredible trainer. I've been training with him since I was a teenager. He'll probably be heading up my camp. I feel like I'm in very capable hands."
What it means to his family?
"I've been fighting professionally for almost a decade now. There's been a lot of sacrifices and a lot of ups and downs in my career. Honestly, I wouldn't be here without the support of my wife and my family. I get emotional when I think of all the positivity I get from my friends and my family and my fans. I wouldn't be here without them, that's what was going through my head.
"It's been an incredible turn of events. I've been working hard for a really hard time to give my son a better life and give him every possibly opportunity that I can. I think this is definitely an opportunity to do that."
His two most important decisions
"One of them was when my contract was acquired by Zuffa through another organization that they acquired the contracts from. I think it was the WFA, somebody I never fought for and I had the opportunity to go straight to the UFC or go to the WEC. I decided to go to the WEC because I felt like I was still a young fighter and had a lot of growing to do. A lot of improvements to be made. I think that going to the WEC and having that opportunity was definitely one of the best decisions that I've made. But the next one would be going to Greg Jackson's gym. Not only do I have some of the best trainers in the world but I have world class training partners 10 minutes from my house. That was definitely a great decision."