As Kenny Rogers famously sang, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away. And know when to run.” It’s time for former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit (pictured) to fold ’em, walk away and run before it’s too late.
That statement isn’t solely based on Saturday’s landslide submission defeat to Demian Maia at UFC on FOX 21, although it has a lot to do with it, but it’s the words that came out of Condit’s mouth at the post-fight press conference that screams it’s time to hang up his MMA gloves.
“I don’t know if I have any business fighting at this level anymore,” Condit candidly admitted. “I’ve been at this for a really long time. The pressure of kind of being one of the top guys for almost a decade, it’s been awesome to be involved in this sport as long as I have. I got to do what I love for a living for a very long time. I don’t know, man. I don’t know if I belong here anymore. We’ll see.”
Those don’t sound like words of a man who’s teetering, they are the words of a man who knows he’s had enough but is unsure how to execute the exit plan because the competitor in him refuses to go out on a loss. The harsh reality is, things typically end badly for most professional athletes – no matter the sport – otherwise things would never end.
In MMA, fighters can get old overnight, and it can be very painful to watch.
Condit contemplated retirement after dropping a controversial split decision to then-champ Robbie Lawler in his last outing, but decided to give it another go after being presented with a fight against a red hot Maia. Condit should have stuck to his initial inkling.
“It’s definitely been in the back of my mind for a while now,” Condit said of retirement. “It’s been a long career and I think there comes a point in every fighter’s career where they have to question how long they want to do that. It wasn’t my night tonight. I don’t know if that’s going to be the swan song for me. Hopefully not. I would hate to go out on a loss like this. I would have at least like to go out there and put on an exciting show like I usually do. I don’t know what’s in the cards. I’m leaning towards probably, possibly being done.”
Condit is only 32, but has 40 professional fights spanning 14 years under his belt. The tread on his tires are worn, especially when you take into consideration the nonstop training that he’s put his body through over the years.
“Honestly, I’ve had a tough career with a lot of fights and I’ve taken a lot of punishment,” Condit said. “I don’t know if I can continue to take shots, honestly.
“I’ll probably talk to the people around me, talk to my wife and kind of make the decision after we’ve had some discussion and a little bit of assessing where I’m going and what’s on the horizon.”
“The Natural Born Killer” has dropped five of his past seven bouts, including two straight and last night’s waxing to Maia. It’s time for one of MMA’s nice guys to go enjoy a nice life outside of the cage.