Montreal - Carlos Condit has had a hunk of gold in his possession for the last nine months. The problem is that along with that hunk of gold he received a title that not many fighters want next to their names for a prolonged period of time: interim.
On Saturday night in Montreal, Condit will look to remove the interim tag from his name and head home to Albuquerque, NM as the undisputed UFC welterweight champion.
The only thing standing in Condit’s way is the man who has owned that title since defeating Matt Serra on April 19, 2008. A man who is recognized as one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters competing in mixed martial arts, Georges St-Pierre.
You would think that a fighter competing against one of the all-time greats of the sport would make Condit nervous, especially fighting in St-Pierre’s hometown. Not so, says the man that goes by the nickname The Natural Born Killer: “I get butterflies of course, like anybody else, but for the most part I’m pretty calm. I’m very confident in my preparation, so I think that’s why I’m able to be pretty cool.”
Condit feels that some of that confidence comes from his style of fighting: “I feel like I have the ability to threaten with finishes from any position. Whether we’re standing, whether the fight's on the ground, I try and finish from my back if I get put there, which I think is a big difference from some of the contenders he’s fought in the past.”
Condit’s numbers back up those words, with a record of 28-5, only two of his victories have gone the distance. Of the other 26 wins on his record, 13 have come via knockout and 13 have come via submission, with only five of those coming outside the first stanza.
Will Condit end GSP's title reign?
Speaking of respect, a word that has been beaten into the ground during the leadup to this fight, Condit said all those niceties and backslapping moments will fall by the wayside when the Octagon door slams shut on Saturday night: “I admire Georges the fighter, he’s a great guy, but this is a business. When that cage door closes he’s going to come to knock me out. He’s going to try and finish me so I gotta be prepared for that. We’re enemies at this point.”
When asked about the fact that some have questioned the heart of St-Pierre, Condit made it clear that he feels St-Pierre is a “warrior through and through and I think he’s going to be there as long as he’s standing, until the ref pulls me off him, he’s going to be there.”
Both St-Pierre and Condit have said they will be going for the finish on Saturday night, but we’ve heard that type of chatter before, so you’d be excused if you didn’t believe the pre-fight talk. While one fighter finishing the other is an uncertainty, what we do know is that at the end of the night, there will be one undisputed UFC welterweight champion.
Oh, and that hunk of gold goes to the champion. Condit could really use the one in St-Pierre’s possession. It’ll save him the time of unpacking the one that is boxed up somewhere in the new home he and his family recently moved into.
**all quotes obtained first hand by BRMMA.