Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit, originally slated for UFC 137 next weekend, may never happen, according to No. 1 middleweight contender Chael Sonnen.
UFC 137 is now headlined by Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn, the winner of which will be getting the next shot at the welterweight title, Sonnen said.
"I don't think this fight [St-Pierre vs. Condit] is going to come back for some time. Listen, if you're the champion, you remain champion until you lose the title. If you're the No. 1 contender you absolutely are not ingrained in any type of stone, " Sonnen told Jon Anik of ESPN's MMA Live. "As a matter of fact, not only do I believe he [Condit] has lost this opportunity, I believe the winner of Diaz and B.J. Penn will get the next opportunity."
An interesting take from the always-expressive Sonnen.
One just has to look at the situation Rashad Evans got himself into when he chose to wait for then-light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua to come back from knee surgery back in 2010 to see the position Condit might be putting himself in by waiting for St-Pierre. Evans is still waiting for that shot at the belt.
After having injured his own knee, Evans' former training partner Jon Jones has beaten Rua to become the UFC light heavyweight champion. In fact, Jones has already defended his title against Quinton Jackson, the man Evans defeated to obtain No. 1 contender status back in May 2010.
After recently injuring his hand Evans has once again been forced to forgo another title shot as former champion Lyoto Machida is now Jones' next challenge at 205 pounds for UFC 140 in Toronto.
The situation for Condit is a little bit different from Evans' in the sense that Rua was looking at six to eight months of recovery time and St-Pierre is only looking at six to eight weeks.
Sonnen does have a point, though: The fight game is like a revolving door. One can be the No. 1 contender one day and be out of the UFC the next.
It's doubtful Condit will be out of the UFC anytime soon, but practice in this sport is as grueling as the competition, and injuries can strike at anytime. By choosing not to fight at UFC 137 Condit is taking a risk.
Should he sustain an injury while waiting for St-Pierre he could find himself going a very long time without a paycheck to foot the bills and possibly forgoing his title shot against St-Pierre.
Josh Koscheck tweeted that he was ready to replace St-Pierre and fight Condit at UFC 137, but that fight never came to fruition.
Obviously, choosing to stay active and taking another fight against a guy like Koscheck instead of waiting for St-Pierre poses its own risks, the obvious one being, what if Condit were to lose? St-Pierre certainly won't be defending his belt against somebody coming off a loss—this is the UFC, not Strikeforce, ladies and gentlemen.
Whether or not the winner of Diaz vs. Penn leapfrogs Condit for the next shot at St-Pierre's belt is a hotly debatable topic, but only if Diaz beats Penn in convincing fashion. Should Penn win or Diaz squeak out a decision, Condit's title shot should be safe for the time being.
St-Pierre has already fought and beaten Penn on two separate occasions. In their second showdown at UFC 94, St-Pierre beat Penn so handily through four rounds that Penn's corner was forced to throw in the towel before the start of the fifth.
St-Pierre is simply too big and too strong of a wrestler for Penn to deal with and a third bout between these two simply doesn't make sense at this point in time.
Diaz, on the other hand, was the original opponent for St-Pierre at UFC 137 until the often mercurial fighter decided to play "hooky" with the UFC by not fulfilling his media obligations. UFC president Dana White was forced to demote him to the co-main event against Penn.
With St-Pierre's injury, things have come full circle and Diaz finds himself main eventing UFC 137 once again and the fan interest in an eventual title fight between St-Pierre, and Diaz hasn't dissipated one bit.
Should Diaz beat Penn in convincing fashion this coming Saturday, one would have to imagine Condit will be sweating a little bit because fans will undoubtedly be demanding the Diaz vs. St-Pierre fight. Anyone who knows White knows he wants to put on the fights fans want to see and this may be to the chagrin of Condit.
Condit doesn't have to worry too much, though, because even if Diaz gets the first shot at St-Pierre, there is no doubting the fact that Condit will be getting the next shot thereafter. The only question is, how long would he have to wait and would he have to take a fight in between?
Condit finds himself in a bit of a hard place, but choosing to wait until after the new year for St-Pierre to heal up is probably his best bet. One can never know these things though until everything plays out—hindsight is always 20/20, right?
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