St-Pierre vs. Condit: 5 Things to Watch for from Carlos Condit
Carlos Condit is the welterweight division's most exciting fighter.
Yes, I said it, and I meant it. His game is diverse and explosive, equally technical as it is barbarically menacing.
For the thin, wiry frame Condit carries, the dude has some serious power, and he is never shy about unleashing the beast through his fists, kicks, elbows and knees.
While many fighters would be content to possess such striking skills as Condit's, "The Natural Born Killer" ups the ante with a ground game that is equally as polished. He rarely finds himself in a bad position, and he is always a threat to submit his foe.
These points are illustrated by the fact that Condit has finished 26 of his 28 career wins, 13 by knockout and 13 by submissions.
How's that for well-rounded?
That in mind, Condit always gives fans something to look forward to in his fights.
On the world's biggest stage in the biggest fight of his career, this notion is compounded, and for that I've compiled a list of the top five aspects of Condit's game to watch out for.
Start the slideshow and enjoy.
Which Carlos Are We Getting?
I highly doubt Georges St-Pierre would ever act like Nick Diaz (pictured), but let us hope Condit gives him no reason to do so.
Against Diaz at UFC 143, Condit showed off a new, cautious version of his usually exciting self, much to the chagrin of fans and critics alike.
That was the biggest fight of his life, and he knew a win would earn him the interim welterweight title and a shot against the greatest welterweight to ever walk this fine planet in GSP.
Now that the stakes are even higher, will we get old-school "Natural Born Killer," or will we have to assign him a new nickname?
Carlos "Cautious" Condit sounds nice, no?
To Kick or Not to Kick...That Is the Question
Carlos Condit has some of the best kicks in the welterweight division. They are fast and precise, and he is a master of keeping his opponent off balance with his front kicks.
In addition to this, he is not shy about mixing up kicks to form beautiful combinations.
Against Georges St-Pierre, though, will Condit be hesitant to implement this part of his game plan? There is no doubt in my mind his kicks would be of great service to him in the bout, but GSP is not exactly the fighter you want to help get a takedown.
Kicking GSP will just give him an easier opportunity to catch a leg and drag the fight where he wants it and where he dominates.
For Condit, we need to watch whether he feels the reward outweighs the risk.
Has Your Takedown Defense Improved?
What is the weakest aspect of Carlos Condit's game?
We all know this one, folks.
Martin Kampmann succeeded on all five of his takedown attempts against Condit, Rory MacDonald landed three and Dong Hyun-Kim even got a takedown in his brief encounter with Condit.
A product of his gambling style, lanky build and lack of a strong wrestling background, Condit is just not very good at staying off his back if his opponent decides to put him there.
Unfortunately for him, GSP is very, very good at putting his opponents on their backs, even if they are great wrestlers.
Can Condit avoid GSP's takedowns? For me, this is the biggest question concerning their showdown.
What Can You Do off Your Back?
Alright, I'll admit something: In that first slide, when I raved about Condit's well-rounded attack and polished ground game, I was not being totally honest with myself.
Condit does have 13 submission victories on his resume, but his last victory via tapout came in February 2008 when he snagged a tight guillotine on Carlo Prater to earn his second WEC title defense.
Since that time, we have seen Condit on his back and on the ground plenty, but we have not seen his slick ability to hit armbars and chokes as his past record would indicate.
Frankly, Condit has not been a threat off his back since joining the UFC, and this could be a major problem against GSP.
It is pretty obvious his striking has taken a huge leap forward, so has he lost his touch on the mat a bit?
We will see tonight.
Do You Need Greg Jackson?
Would you just look at that face?
That smug glare is a face that says, "Yep, my fighters are the best. We will beat you, but better yet, we will frustrate the hell out of you."
Say what you will about Greg Jackson, but the man crafts a fine fighter. His stable is absolutely ridiculous, and there is no doubt that his game-planning and dedication to the sport is a huge reason for his fighters' success inside the Octagon.
Against Nick Diaz, we saw a definitive product of his studious and analytical ways, and that plan resulted in Condit capturing the interim welterweight title and Saturday night's showdown against GSP.
Was it exciting? I personally thought it was, but I also know it was one of Condit's worst fights from an entertainment standpoint since joining the UFC.
Winning trumps all in MMA, though, and Greg Jackson can sure as hell craft a winner.
Unfortunately for Condit, Mr. Jackson has ties to GSP as well, and Jackson has long been a part of GSP's winning formula as well. Due to this, Jackson will not corner Condit in this fight, and Carlos will have to find the winning path within himself.
Can he do it without Yoda master Greg by his side?