Poor Carlos Condit.
Let me just get that out of the way, as most of the MMA community has been patting Condit’s back (figuratively, of course) ever since his title shot was brutally stolen from him.
Ok, so it wasn’t “his” title shot, so I guess it wasn’t “stolen” from him per se. Still, that’s an argument for another day. Right now, no matter what the circumstances, you have to feel for the guy. He reportedly broke into tears upon being told he was getting a title shot.
I wonder how he reacted when the rug was pulled out from under him.
Knowing Condit, he probably spent the first ten minutes getting his ass kicked by grief before roaring back to completely get over it in the final five minutes.
Now, in the wake of the injury plagued, missed press conference fiasco-avalanche that was UFC 137, an unexpected player has emerged onto the scene of the controversy: Josh Koscheck.
To some, Koscheck is the welterweight division’s version of Ragweed: no matter what you do to him, he seems to keep coming back. Two decisive losses to the reigning champ hasn’t seemed to douse Koscheck’s ambitions, lower his profile as the division’s “bad boy,” or shut his mouth any.
Love him or hate him, the man knows how to market himself in MMA. He’s also a gamer who has no problems fighting on short notice, for good or ill. When GSP fell out of his championship tilt with Condit, Kos offered to step up to the plate on only a week's notice. We don’t know if Condit turned that fight down, or if it was ever offered to him.
Now Kos has taken to Twitter again, claiming (in so many words) that Condit ducked him by not taking his last-minute offer. Which is almost as ridiculous an accusation as when Diaz claimed GSP “ducked” him by dropping out of the Condit fight with a knee sprain. That’s right, folks: GSP ducked Diaz by dropping out of a fight with someone else. Keep tokin’ Nick.
In addition to his accusation, Kos has thrown the digital, 140- character gauntlet and challenged Condit to a fight while “The Natural Born Killer” is waiting for his title shot.
The reaction to this fight has been interesting, with most fans thinking Condit – and the UFC – should pass this fight up. It’s too risky a fight for Condit, some say, who could lose his (very loosely guaranteed) title shot. And it’s too risky for the UFC, who would lose a “new blood” contender in Condit only to gain in Kos a contender who’s already fought the champion twice – and lost.
Those are solid points. But still, as my grandfather once said upon having subatomic theory explained to him: Balls.
This is the fight to make, folks. Let me explain why, “pitching” this fight as it were to Kos, Condit, the UFC, and the fans.
Ok, so I don’t have to pitch Kos, as it’s his idea. It’s a marquee fight with lots of potential buzz that would keep his name in the spotlight. For him, this fight is all gravy.
But what about Condit? Does the Team Jackson fighter risk too much by facing a dangerous guy like Kos?
Maybe, but to me, the rewards outweigh the potential risks. Condit’s “guaranteed title shot” is at best a phantom, a possibility of a title shot that lingers somewhere on the horizon like morning mist. Just ask Jon Fitch what the value of Dana’s word when it comes to “guaranteed title shots” really is.
The truth is that Carlos would have a FAR better chance of getting his title shot if he took this fight and won than if he waited—Rashad Evans-style—in the wings. The UFC brass looks for people who “move the needle” with casual fans, which Condit sadly doesn’t do right now. A marquee matchup with a polarizing figure like Kos, on a big card with lots of trash-talking backing it up – well, that sounds like exactly the right fight to get Condit “over” with casual fans.
And hey, if he can’t beat Josh Koscheck, I really don’t like his chances against GSP.
And the UFC? They should make this fight because the hype is there, the opportunity is presenting itself, and the chance exists to keep building buzz in the previously stagnant welterweight division. Put this fight on the same Super Bowl weekend card as GSP vs. Diaz, bill it as a number one contender’s match, and play up the Kos/Carlos drama. Condit wins, you have a built in challenger for GSP. Kos wins, well, maybe it’s time you finally gave Jon Fitch a call. Or see what Anderson Silva’s schedule is looking like.
And fans? C’mon, do I really have to pitch you guys? Don’t even pretend that Kos vs. Condit would be anything other then an all out war.
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