One of the first lessons a writer learns is to avoid the cliche. If the reader can finish your sentence before the punctuation is inserted, you have constructed a poor sentence.
That in mind, allow me to start this article by saying:
Since he began his mixed martial arts career in September 2002, Condit has been one of the sport's finest warriors.
Condit has 33 fights on his record, 28 of which saw his hand raised at its conclusion. Of these wins, 13 came via knockout and 13 came via submission; only twice has Condit won on judges' scorecards. He has never been stopped via strikes but has succumbed to submission in three out of his five losses.
To compare, Georges St-Pierre has won 22 of 24 career bouts, eight by knockout, five by submission and nine by decision. Each of his two losses came via stoppage.
Condit's stellar run saw him capture the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting's welterweight title, an honor he defended three times before the division was absorbed by the UFC.
Now, Condit has the opportunity to regain the glory of his alpha-dog status, but a win Saturday night at UFC 154 means oh-so much more for the title challenger.
This is not an ordinary title fight. Sure, the standard implications—the money, the fame and the rankings boost—come with this fight, but Condit has the opportunity to elevate his status as a mixed martial artist into the realm of the legendary.
Where would Condit rank in the pound-for-pound rankings with a win over GSP?
Should he convincingly defeat GSP tonight, Condit will spoil a legacy and overthrow a potential superfight between "Rush" and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
This will undoubtedly anger and disappoint fans, but the milestone for Condit is enormous. His win against Dan Hardy was sensational, and his finish against Kim was nothing short of extraordinary. Against Diaz, Condit showed the ability to follow a game plan to perfection.
Impressive as all this was, defeating GSP is greater than the sum of these past performances and then some. This is the opportunity for Condit to accomplish something extraordinary and declare himself the greatest welterweight in the world.
With his past resume, it would also be hard to deny Condit a spot among the top-five pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
A win for Condit also sets up some tasty future bouts. While everyone cares about GSP-Silva (and I don't blame you), a rematch with Nick Diaz is potentially on the horizon for Condit, as is a rematch with the only man to defeat him inside the Octagon, Martin Kampmann.
Let us not forget how Condit was dominated by Rory MacDonald for two rounds before surging late in the third round to finish his gassed opponent. With MacDonald's recent success and seemingly unlimited potential, a rematch there is tantalizing as well.
In short, Condit has plenty of options moving forward with a win, and two or three title defenses will put his name right up with the likes of Jose Aldo, Jon Jones and Junior dos Santos.
His career has been a long string of epic battles, and tonight he has the chance for the ultimate payoff. The UFC title is on the line, as is Condit's legacy. He can entirely reshape the public's general perception of himself as a fighter, and that is the ultimate reward.
Win and become legendary.
Lose and get lost in the shuffle.
The opportunity awaits Carlos Condit tonight at UFC 154.
Will he (say it with me) sink or swim?