If there’s one advantage Georges St. Pierre has without a doubt over Carlos Condit heading into their title unification bout later this month at UFC 154, it’s storylines.
St. Pierre is full of them. He’s battling the longest layoff of his career, following the most significant injury of his career. Should he win, a super fight with the No. 1 fighter in the world awaits -- likely the biggest fight in the history of the UFC.
As for Condit, well, he did recently move into a new neighborhood. So, there’s that.
The challenger to St. Pierre’s 170-pound belt is used to not being in the headlines, though. For a fighter who has only one loss in his last 14 appearances, Condit seems to have a knack for being overlooked.
At the very least, he seems to have a knack for earning a shot at St. Pierre when it seems everyone wants to see the Canadian fight someone else. Today, it’s Anderson Silva. Before that: Nick Diaz.
This is the way Condit (28-5) has grown to prefer it. He’s not much into prefight storylines anyway. They’re all about speculation and expectations. For him, the plot headed into this fight isn’t about what might happen. It’s about what’s gotten him here.
“The storyline from my perspective is in July, it’s been 10 years I’ve been competing in this sport,” Condit told ESPN.com. “After a decade, I’m at the pinnacle. I’m getting ready to fight one of the best guys ever in the sport.”
Here are some of the interim champion’s thoughts on other topics leading into the biggest fight of his career.
ESPN: How much criticism has there been from fans for not defending the interim belt?
Condit: The UFC made it clear from the start they wanted me to fight Georges in my next fight. From my perspective, why would I go looking for a fight other than a matchup with Georges that the UFC isn’t talking about or asking about? Ultimately, my job is to get the biggest reward for what I risk in the cage.
ESPN: One fight you were ready to accept was a rematch against Nick Diaz, which did not happen because of his suspension. What were your thoughts on his suspension and marijuana suspensions within MMA in general?
Condit: My stance on it is that unless a guy is like high when he’s fighting, then I don’t really see it as a performance-enhancing drug. But the bottom line is it’s a banned substance right now. I can’t pick and choose what rules I want to follow. If I think soccer kicks should be legal and use them in my next fight, I’m going to get disqualified.
ESPN: As you break down film of St. Pierre, does the task of beating him become more or less daunting in your mind?
Condit: Georges is such an incredible athlete and such a complete fighter. It’s really hard to find chinks in his armor. There are patterns he follows but ultimately, when you look at Georges and everything he does, it’s quite a task. So, basically I’ve been focusing on the things that I do well and being the best fighter I can be as opposed to watching what Georges does.
ESPN: Does the Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre talk motivate you at all?
Condit: I’m used to being in this position. Not only am I an underdog, a lot of people are looking past me to another fight. I don’t think Georges is looking past me, but yeah, it is motivation. I like to be the spoiler.
ESPN: As strictly a fan of the sport, what do you think about a proposed Silva vs. St. Pierre fight? Does it interest you?
Condit: I would say that the size difference is pretty massive. I know Georges is a very big welterweight, but the height difference is pretty substantial. I don’t know. I think Georges feels the same way. I read an interview recently where he said, ‘Anderson is a big guy.’ I think even Georges is on the fence about the fight.
ESPN: So Greg Jackson has not been a part of this camp for you at all? And if so, were you prepared for that?
Condit: Greg is not involved in my training at all. He’s still running classes at the gym but as far as personally working with me, he hasn’t. Yes, I did (know it would be that way.)