Carlos Condit has been told that he will receive a UFC welterweight title shot if he defeats Tyron Woodley in the co-main event of UFC 171. Woodley has not received the same message from the UFC brass.
Some fighters may take exception if their opponent was promised something they were not prior to a fight. Some fighters may perceive the promise to their opponent as a message that they have to go out there and impress the UFC's matchmakers if they want a title shot. In the simplest of terms, some fighters may head into a fight looking for a knockout to prove they deserve a title shot.
Woodley (12-2) is not some fighters. Taking part in a media call for Saturday's fight against the No. 2 ranked Condit (29-7), Woodley said that type of game plan would not be the smartest move on his part, "I think that's a silly game plan. The game plan is to win."
The No. 11 ranked Woodley, expanded on that thought, saying, "Carlos hasn't been finished very often in his career, and for me to think that I'm just going to go out there and provide this special medicine that I can just knock him out in ten seconds is kind of silly."
The reality is that Condit has never been knocked out during his career. The three stoppage defeats on Condit's record have come by way of submission. All three of those submissions came long before Condit joined the ranks of the UFC.
The last time Condit was stopped was June 2006 when Pat Healy used a rear naked choke to submit Condit at Extreme Wars 3. That history is the reason Woodley said of his upcoming battle, "If it's a finish, that's great, but really you have to prepare for 15 minutes of war with this kid because he's always in those types of fights."
Woodley's two career losses have both come in the last two years. The first was a July 2012 fourth round knockout loss to Nate Marquardt for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title. The second was a split decision defeat to Jake Shields at UFC 161 in June 2013. The loss to Shields left UFC president Dana White tweeting:
Woodley got ROBBED!!— Dana White (@danawhite) June 16, 2013
White was not the only one that felt that the fight could have gone Woodley's way, and that may be the reason Woodley did not discuss that loss as particularly painful. On the other hand, Woodley did have something to say about the loss to Marquardt, "When they told me the fight was over, I was so broken, and I think that feeling, that emotion, I never want to experience that again."
On Saturday night, Woodley will have his work cut out for him if he wants to avoid becoming the 30th victory on Condit's record. Woodley addressed that fact when he said, "I think Carlos Condit has a certain kid of style, he's always in Fight of the Night. He's always in these wars, and I think that his ability to fight in that manner has made me prepare even more, and train even harder to push my limits. When he gets in there and turns up his pace, I'm looking to match him and get the victory."
If that victory earns Woodley a shot at UFC gold, all the better.