UFC welterweight fighter Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit will look to prove himself as a legitimate contender in the 170lbs. division when he takes on former number one contender Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy this weekend at UFC 120. Condit asked for the fight with Hardy, much to “The Outlaw’s” astonishment, for the precise reason of getting the opportunity to really begin making his name in that weight class.
“Hardy’s got status in the UFC right now,” Condit said. “You know, he was the No. 1 contender. A win over him would probably catapult me up the rankings. But in addition to that, he’s the kind of fighter that I want to fight. He puts on exciting fights. He comes to finish guys, and I want to be in an exciting fight. I want to give the fans a show.”
Hardy is known for primarily being a striker, a fact that was on display during his March title fight loss to champ Georges St. Pierre; the story of the fight was Hardy’s gameness vs. GSP’s technical prowess on the ground and his adept ability for getting the fight there. Condit believes the story will be the same in regards to Hardy’s approach to their upcoming tilt.
“I think he’s probably going to want to stand up,” said Condit. “He’s got a good ground game, but his takedown defense is lacking.”
Condit has not had an easy time since transitioning from being the dominant and last WEC welterweight champion to being a UFC welterweight fighter; while he has gone 2-1 in the promotion (his only loss to Martin Kampmann, via split-decision), Condit’s split-decision win over Jake Ellenberger raised some controversy and it wasn’t until late in the third round that Condit mustered the firepower to put down young contender Rory MacDonald in their UFC 115 bout, who was otherwise putting Condit through the paces. Even though it could be argued that he has had a rough go of it, Condit says that he wouldn’t have things any other way as he entered the UFC to test himself against the world’s best.
“I wanted to be where the best competition is, and the welterweight division in UFC may be the most stacked division there is,” he said. “There’s a big difference in visibility. In WEC, I may have done ten interviews before a fight. With UFC, it’s 30 interviews.”
UFC 120 goes down tomorrow night at the O2 Arena in London, England; the fight will air on Spike TV via tape delay in the US and will be headlined by a bout between Michael Bisping and Yoshihiro Akiyama.