Former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit is one fight away from obtaining a UFC title, but he will have to go through former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz at UFC 143, which takes place this weekend on pay-per-view.
Both are known for their fan-friendly and fearless fighting styles, and both have the records to prove it. Condit has finished 26 of his opponents, while Diaz has stopped 21 of his. Both are on win streaks and will be fighting for the UFC interim welterweight championship in the main event. The winner will likely take on undisputed champion Georges St-Pierre later this year.
"There has been a lot of excitement, some huge letdowns, a lot of stress, not only on me but my family," Condit told MMAHeavy.com's Megan Olivi. "It's been crazy, but I think we've dealt with it well, and i've just been focused on training and being prepared for whoever I ended up stepping in the cage with."
Condit hasn't fought since defeating Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 132. Bouts with St-Pierre and BJ Penn both fell through when Diaz was forced out of his fight with St-Pierre prior to UFC 137. When St-Pierre tore his ACL in training, Diaz stepped in to face Penn in the main event while Condit was forced off the card.
"I was somewhat amused at how everything turned out, I kind of just had to laugh," Condit continued. "I was a little bit skeptical because I got a shot, I don't have a title shot, and if somebody gets hurt, they have this opponent, they have that opponent, and it's constantly changing so I was cautiously optimistic."
Condit's win streak includes victories over Jake Ellenberger, Kim, Dan Hardy and Rory MacDonald. Diaz will enter the fight on an 11-fight win streak with victories over BJ Penn, KJ Noons, Paul Daley and Frank Shamrock.
"We're both very dynamic fighters," Condit said. "He's got great stand-up skills and great jiu-jitsu, and that's kind of a similar skillset to me. I think who really wins this fight is the fans. It's going to be an exciting, exciting fight. I think we're going to go toe-to-toe, and probably exhibit all aspects of martial arts."