Former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit has twice been very close to victory over his last two fights, only to see both slip away by decision.
The latest occurrence took place on Saturday night in Las Vegas when Condit dropped a unanimous decision to new top contender Johny Hendricks at UFC 158. Despite out landing Hendricks 42 to 30 in significant strikes, according to FightMetric, Condit couldn't stuff the former NCAA champion's takedown attempts and it likely cost him the fight.
Hendricks took Condit down on 12-of-15 attempts and while he failed to do much damage from the top, ultimately the takedowns seemed to be the difference in the total scoring for the fight.
Condit also lost his last fight at UFC 154 to champion Georges St-Pierre, who employed a similar game plan to take the New Mexico native down repeatedly, to avoid his power on the feet.
It's been almost seven years since Condit has experienced back-to-back losses in his career, and he knows where his weakness lies and what he needs to do to fix it.
"It's pretty obvious what I need to do. I need to go and work on my wrestling," Condit said at the UFC 158 post-fight press conference. "Both fights that was really the deciding factor. Both fights I put on a show, I left it all out there, but came up short in both instances, so I've got to go back and re-evaluate and got to keep working, improving."
Condit has a great team of wrestlers around him at his home camp in New Mexico at Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn's facility, but it's not easy to play catch up to high level wrestlers like St-Pierre and Hendricks.
On a more positive note, when Condit did lose the two fights in a row to Jake Shields and Pat Healy all the way back in 2006, he then went on an eight fight win steak which included capturing and defending the WEC welterweight title.
As for what's next, Condit will obviously spend some down time letting his body recover after a three-round thriller against Hendricks that earned him an additional $50,000 as a Fight of the Night bonus.
Following a brief vacation, Condit still has interest in his next fight coming against Rory MacDonald, the man he was supposed to face at UFC 158 on Saturday night. Condit finished MacDonald back in 2010, which counts as his only professional loss, and he's been gunning for a rematch ever since.
Condit is still happy to oblige him when he returns to full health following a neck injury that forced him off the card at UFC 158.
"That's definitely an intriguing matchup. There's some history there, probably a lot of interest in the fight," Condit said about MacDonald. "So yeah, it's definitely something I would be interested in."
MacDonald suffered a set back in training after the initial injury to his neck so he is currently on the sidelines awaiting further word on when he may be able to return to action. If he can make it back in a timely fashion, a rematch with Condit would still be a fight of high interest in the UFC welterweight division.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.
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