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Who's Next for Carlos Condit?

Kevin Iole makes a point worth considering:

That was the easy part for Condit, who is a natural in the cage. The hard part was fending off questions about fights against welterweights outside of the WEC.

He conceded he’d like a rematch with Elite XC champion Jake Shields, who defeated him in 2006. He also said he’d like to avenge his losses to Pat Healy and Satoru Kitaoka.

No matter how hard he was pushed, though, he managed to avoid saying he wanted a chance to fight men such as UFC champion Georges St. Pierre and top-ranked Jon Fitch, who will meet on Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., at UFC 87.

“There are a lot of tough guys, good fighters out there,” Condit said.

And Condit is clearly among the toughest of them.

The WEC is teeming with talent, particularly at its lighter weights. Men like bantamweight champion Miguel Torres and featherweight champion Urijah Faber are already among the world’s elite fighters and it may not be long before featherweight Josh Grispi is added to that list.

Condit is every bit their equal. But while they have potential opponents that could help them put on mind-blowing fights, the welterweight division in the WEC is all but barren. It’s Condit, Larson and not a heck of a lot else.

This is true. Go to the WEC's website and you'll see the only other welterweights are guys who don't deserve a title shot, guys who can't hold a candle to Condit or guys Condit has defeated. The WEC talent pool at welterweight is very thin given Condit's domination of it.

And there isn't an easy solution either. While the WEC could bring potential rematches for him, only the Kitoaka fight would be mildly interesting and the chances of getting him over here aren't particularly great. Worse, they could send Condit to the UFC, but that would send a bad message about the WEC being the minor leagues of the UFC. It would also position Condit as a fighter who isn't as good as he actually is.

And folding the entire division into the UFC would be perfunctory. The UFC is filled to the brim with talent as it is and Condit is a very marketable star for the WEC. Over the long run, the best plan is a combination of moving talent between the WEC and UFC more cleanly and doing a stronger recruitment of international talent. But even then there are problems. Condit is underrated and under appreciated even by hardcore fans. It does him few favors to give him a steady stream of talented fighters with no "name". If he wins, he was supposed to; if he loses, then he was overrated to begin with.

What a quandary.

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