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Carlos Condit: Will he Always be Second Best?

On March 16, 2013 at UFC 158, Carlos Condit will take on Johny Hendricks in his first bout after losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 154. In some ways the bout with St. Pierre was encouraging for Condit going forward in his career. He certainly put up a better fight than past opponents like Dan Hardy did against the champion. Condit was able to win the third round and almost put down St. Pierre after landing a head-kick. But that kick was also Condit’s only moment where he looked as if he had a legitimate chance of winning.

Prior to Jon Fitch’s release, Fitch was generally considered as the second best welterweight in the world. He was a guy who could win a fight against every welterweight in the world except for St. Pierre.

Condit may be destined to fill that same role; at least until St. Pierre either retires or moves up in weight. While Condit did show flashes of offense, it is hard to imagine Condit landing another head-kick on the champion if they were to fight again. It is also hard to imagine Condit then following up and effectively finishing the fight after a brutal shot like that. In a potential rematch, those big flashes of violence are the only chance Condit would have of defeating St. Pierre.

We also saw that once Condit was on the ground, his active guard was essentially nullified. Even when Condit was able to reverse position and end up on top in round four, he was unable to hold St. Pierre down.

If Condit does beat Johny Hendricks, what then? I’m guessing a rematch with St. Pierre wouldn’t be an impossible sell because of the few moments of offense that Condit did have. The UFC can replay the highlight of the head-kick in their promo materials and they can present Condit as a guy who was so close to finishing St. Pierre. But the reality is St. Pierre revealed what a bad style matchup he is for Condit (and the rest of the division for that matter). Before the bout it was thought that Condit’s active guard could be a problem for the champion. It wasn’t. If a rematch is booked, I just don’t see Condit being able to make the necessary improvements to beat St. Pierre. As a result, he may always be the bridesmaid and never the bride, in the welterweight division.

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