UFC star Carlos Condit receives warm PH welcome

Nissi Icasiano
UFC star Carlos Condit receives warm PH welcome
UFC fighter Carlos Condit stopped by the Philippines to show off his fighting skills, and talk about his comeback from injury and future fights in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Carlos Condit had fond impressions of his stay in the country after his three-day promotional tour.

The 30-year-old Condit has been around the metro since Thursday, holding a series of press conferences, meet-and-greet sessions and a public workout.

“UFC has a huge fan base here. It feels great to be in Manila and entertain everybody in attendance,” he said in front of thousands of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who flocked to the Trinoma Activity Center in Quezon City on Saturday afternoon, November 8 for his open training.

Known by the nickname “The Natural Born Killer” because 27 of his 29 wins have come by way of stoppage, Condit (29-8) initially made waves in the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), where he captured the promotion’s welterweight strap by stopping Hiromitsu Miura by fourth-round technical knockout at WEC 35 in August 2008.

Photo by Josh Albelda

After the world’s premier MMA organization merged with WEC, Condit had his first Octagon appearance in April 2009 at UFC Fight Night 18, where he dropped a close split decision against Martin Kampmann.

Following the disappointing defeat to Kampmann, Condit bounced back with a split decision victory over Jake Ellenberger and earned three-straight knockouts over the likes Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim, establishing himself as a contender for the UFC welterweight championship.

Due to the absence of then-champion Georges St-Pierre courtesy of a knee injury, Condit faced Nick Diaz for the interim title at UFC 143 in February 2012.

The 6-foot-1 Jackson-Wink MMA representative was awarded with a controversial unanimous decision to bring home the belt and set a title unification bout with St-Pierre.

Condit squared off with St-Pierre at UFC 154 in November 2013, but he bowed down to the talented French-Canadian combatant via five-round verdict.

Photo by Josh Albelda

Since his setback to St-Pierre, he had several attempts to re-insert his name in the championship lottery, yielding to Johny Hendricks via unanimous decision at UFC 158 in March 2013 before knocking out Kampmann in a rematch at UFC Fight 27 five months later.

Condit was last seen in action at UFC 171 this past March when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the middle of a rough three-round tussle versus Tyron Woodley, which resulted to a technical knockout loss as he was unable to continue the bout.

Although he is still undergoing rehab for his ACL injury, Condit showed no indication that the impediment would slow him down during the public workout as he delivered powerful foot-strikes onto the kicks pads.

Condit eyes a return by first quarter of 2015 as he had been cleared recently to resume his MMA training and sparring.

“I can’t wait to return inside the Octagon and get another title shot. My knee is doing well right now. I’m looking at first quarter of next year,” he stated.

A headliner in four previous UFC events, Condit is open to the idea of fighting in the Philippines.

“With this kind of reception, there is a huge possibility that the UFC will come here to hold an event. I am willing to fight here in the Philippines. I love how you appreciate the sport,” Condit said.

The UFC was reportedly aiming to stage a fight card in the archipelago nation this year, but head honcho Dana White publicly disclosed in May that the venture has been delayed.

However, White did not specifically elaborate on the reasons why the promotion has been unable to operate on Philippine shores, but other international markets such as Singapore and Macau have opened in the meantime.

The Zuffa-owned company has long held interest in the Philippines, with plans for a “The Ultimate Fighter” season based in the country being talked about as early as 2011. – Rappler.com

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