The week of WEC legends retiring continues.
One day after four-time WEC and UFC title challenger Joseph Benavidez announced his retirement from MMA, former WEC welterweight champion and one-time UFC interim champion Carlos Condit has done the same thing.
Condit’s manager Malki Kawa told MMA Fighting that the 37-year-old is calling it a career after nearly 20 years as a professional fighter.
Condit (32-14) made his MMA debut way back in 2002, became one of the more familiar names associated with the WEC when he joined the promotion in 2007. He won the promotion’s welterweight title by submitting John Alessio, and he defended that belt three more times before the weight class was dissolved and he joined the UFC in 2009, losing a very close debut to Martin Kampmann by split decision.
On the heels of consecutive nasty knockouts of Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Jim, ‘The Natural Born Killer’ won the interim UFC title in 2012 with a close decision over Nick Diaz — resist the urge to say “Diaz 1, 2, and 5!” just for today. His unification bout with Georges St-Pierre saw him largely get dominated by GSP but he gave St-Pierre a massive scare with a third-round head kick knockdown.
Of course, the most famous title shot for Condit was his UFC 195 epic with Robbie Lawler. In a heavily disputed decision, Lawler got the split nod in one of the greatest wars in MMA history. This was the start of a five-fight losing streak for Condit, who’d already contemplated retirement after the Lawler fight.
Condit had a two-year absence from the cage from 2018 to 2020, in part because of a detached retina, but he returned triumphantly last October with a decision over Court McGee. A decision over Matt Brown soon followed this past January, before his decision loss to Max Griffin at UFC 264.
There are too many iconic fights and finishes to list from Condit’s career — his 17-second destruction of Renato Verissimo at Rumble on the Rock pre-WEC stint being one of them — and he has provided fans with some unforgettable moments over the years.
Much like Benavidez, we should be seeing Condit in the UFC Hall of Fame down the line and hopefully sooner rather than later. Yes, Condit’s final UFC record may be only 9-10 but that doesn’t do justice as to what he meant to the sport.