UFC welterweight Carlos Condit has always had an undying belief in his ability to overcome obstacles.
At UFC 137, to be held October 29 in Las Vegas, Condit will face the biggest obstacle of his career against welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
The idea that everything happens for a reason means a lot to Condit, who was granted the UFC title shot after Nick Diaz was pulled from the main event for missing multiple scheduled press conferences.
Originally slated to face B.J. Penn on the same card, Condit was bumped to the main event and received the opportunity of a lifetime––challenging St-Pierre for the world title.
He reminisces about one of the best phone calls he ever received from his manager, Malki Kawa—
"Um, I was blown away, I got pretty emotional. I started to tear up, which was pretty awesome because I was in public. I had to try to compose myself thinking of all the hard work that got me to this point," Condit told Buddhasport in an exclusive interview.
Condit has certainly earned the spotlight. He is coming off four consecutive wins over Jake Ellenberger, Dan Hardy, Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald.
The wins over Ellenberger and MacDonald were especially impressive. Ellenberger recently knocked out former pound-for-pound standout Jake Shields, and MacDonald is already drawing St-Pierre comparisons.
"After I beat them and they keep doing well and dominating like they have been, it makes my wins over them even better. But even when I fought them, I knew that they were the real deal and would go far because they both gave me problems at certain times during those fights," said Condit.
Despite his recent success, fans are starting to question the nature of this matchup from a psychological perspective.
Condit and St-Pierre are both affiliated with Jackson's MMA, and it's always interesting to know who had the upper hand during training sessions.
"We never actually [trained together]. There was a time or two when we were training in the gym at the same time, but I think we kind of seen this fight on the horizon. We were always cool and always friendly with each other, but he would kind of be doing his thing and I would be doing my own thing. We have never sparred and that would be the best way to know somebody's style," Condit said.
In other words, neither fighter holds any underlying knowledge about the other's game plan. Condit and St-Pierre will enter the octagon on October 29 as fresh opponents, who just so happen to train at the same gym.
St-Pierre will undoubtedly enter the bout as a huge favorite, but as history has shown, it's rather unwise to underestimate a fighter like Condit. He has solid technical striking and knockout power to threaten St-Pierre while standing. If taken down, Condit is constantly active from his back, working short strikes, sweeps and submissions.
But Condit's greatest attribute is his heart. Regardless of how the rounds are going, he is never really out of a fight.
A fight with Condit is always nasty, and he plans on proving to the world that he is the best 170-pound fighter out there.
"Training has been going awesome, the best camp of my career for sure," said Condit.
"I've always been a big fan of Georges. I've admired his style and kind of the way he carries himself, and I'm honored to get in there and challenge him for the belt and step in the cage with him. With all that aside, I think that I'm the best welterweight in the world, and I've been trying to prove that every single time I get in there, and this fight is going to be no different."