UFC 143: Carlos Condit (Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting)
Carlos Condit just won the UFC interim welterweight championship with a controversial decision win over Nick Diaz at UFC 143. He's now saying that he'll wait for champion Georges St. Pierre to return before he fights again. This means that the interim title will not be defended and really renders the UFC 143 title fight pointless.
Josh Nason already made this point last week, but I want to echo his opinion.
Obviously Condit is rightfully concerned that a bout against Jake Ellenberger, Josh Koscheck or Johny Hendricks could go badly and he won't get to fight GSP. That's an absolutely rational decision and if I were Condit's manager is exactly what I would recommend he do.
However what's good for Carlos Condit and what's good for the sport and the fans are two different things.
Here are three reasons why Condit should NOT be allowed to wait:
- The UFC needs headliners.
The UFC had to cancel a planned March pay-per-view in Quebec because of the lack of a headlining fight. While Condit wouldn't have been able to fill in that gap, his decision to wait for GSP means he won't be around to headline or co-main event any PPVs in the summer or fall.
- The division shouldn't be on hold.
There are too many talented fighters who've waited too long for their shot to put the division on the shelf for another 9 months. Jake Ellenberger has earned a title shot. The winner of Johny Hendricks vs. Josh Koscheck at UFC on Fox 3 will have earned a title shot. There's every reason to believe that any of those 3 guys could beat Condit, tough as he is. They all present formidable stylistic challenges to Condit and Ellenberger very nearly beat him in their first bout.
- What if GSP isn't ready to fight in the fall or if Condit gets hurt?
Remember when Rashad Evans chose to sit out nearly a year waiting for Mauricio "Shogun" Rua to heal up from ACL surgery only to be injured himself when his shot finally came? What happens if GSP's recovery is delayed and he can't fight until 2013? What if Condit gets hurt training for GSP? Is the title really supposed to go undefended for a year?
UFC president Dana White often pushes the claim that the UFC is about seeing the best fighters fight the best 2 or 3 times a year. Letting Condit wait for GSP means that in the welterweight division in 2012 the UFC is about the best fighting the best once a year, maybe.