After 14 months on the sidelines, former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit will return this Saturday in Brazil, to face "Pitbull" Thiago Alves in the main event. It will be a new dawn for "The Natural Born Killer".
Flashback to March 2014: Condit battles Tyron Woodley at UFC 171. Woodley scores a takedown, but lands on Condit's right knee. After the referee stands them up again, Condit's knee buckles, he crumbles, screams in pain. The outcome of the fight for Condit: a TKO loss, a torn ACL, a partially torn meniscus and over a year out of competition.
Now, Condit is back in the game. He faces number-twelve ranked Thiago Alves, who returned in January with a TKO over Jordan Mein, after his own series of injuries. Since rehabbing his knee, Condit says he has been "completely focussed on getting back in the cage and getting right back in the win column".
In those 14 months away from the Octagon, at over 30 years old, not for one second has he thought about quitting the sport, Condit told MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz at the open workouts on Thursday.
"No, never. This is what I do for a living, this is how I pay my bills. There is no other option than to come back and get right back in it," Condit explained.
Despite his long absence, Condit is still ranked number four in the UFC's official welterweight rankings. A victory over Alves on Saturday could be key for him to get back into title contention.
"This fight will show that I haven't gone anywhere and that I belong in the running for the title," said Condit. "It's gonna be fast-paced and violent."
You can watch the whole video above. UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Alves takes place this Saturday at Goiânia, Brazil.