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Opening Round: Condit’s Conundrum

With Georges St. Pierre recently coming out to say he expects to be ready to fight again by February it seems to be a given substitute-contender Carlos Condit is a lock to maintain his place as next in line for the French-Canadian.

My question is, “Why?”

Condit is a fantastic talent; a tiger shark swimming in the deep in of the UFC’s 170-pound pool. However, if we’re facing facts it implies the understanding Condit’s title-shot is the result of Nick Diaz’s disinterest in public appearance outside of the arena on fight night, not an opportunity he directly earned through his own accomplishments. Furthermore, if Diaz defeats B.J. Penn next weekend at UFC 137, why wouldn’t he leapfrog a thumb-twiddling Condit and get the go at GSP he was originally scheduled for with a new appreciation for certain media obligations?

The bottom line is Condit is taking a huge gamble by following the lead of his former teammate at Jackson’s MMA, Rashad Evans, and waiting out a championship fight that may never actually come. If you believe Condit’s clash with St. Pierre is actually guaranteed just because Dana White said so, I have some stock in YAMMA Pit Fighting I’d like to sell you that’s bound to go up. In reality there have been countless competitors in the UFC who were promised one thing only to watch it evaporate faster than the sticky stuff in Joe Rogan’s dresser drawer.

In the wake of the news regarding St. Pierre’s removal from the card, Josh Koscheck stepped up and expressed his willingness to face Condit on October 29 similarly to how he’d done for UFC 135 when Diego Sanchez went down with a broken hand. To have passed on it, as Condit did, was a huge mistake.

Koscheck’s overall skillset offers nothing superior to St. Pierre’s in any department unless unique hairstyles is an attribute worth keeping score of. The adjustments to Condit’s gameplan would have been minimal unless the 27-year old wasn’t expecting “Rush” to shoot takedowns for some reason. Plus, Condit could have brought in the expertise of Greg Jackson to assist him with sometimes-teammate St. Pierre out of the picture.

On top of those things, taking the bout with Koscheck would have also shown his willingness to help the UFC out when it was in a bind while assisting in delivering as entertaining product as possible to the people who help pay his bills and were expecting to see him in action at the event.

Instead, he’s going to fight a single time in 2011 – a win over Dong Hyun Kim in July – and pretend his shot at St. Pierre is set in a substance harder than limestone. It isn’t, and if Diaz does indeed come away with a victory over Penn, the only thing the “Natural Born Killer” will have murdered this fall was a chance to solidify a claim to keeping his status as top contender.

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

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