Carlos Condit has been on a nice run of luck lately.
First, there was his sudden promotion into the UFC 137 welterweight title bout after Nick Diaz ghosted a pair of prefight media conferences in September. Now, Condit appears doubly fortunate that instead of shuffling him back into the deck of 170-pound contenders, the UFC is willing to let him wait until Georges St. Pierre is recovered from the knee injury that knocked the champ off the card entirely this week.
“Taking another fight in between now and when Georges is healthy just doesn't make any sense on a lot of different levels," Condit told Fox Sports on Thursday, almost like he felt the need to convince us. "At this point, I'm just going to have to be patient."
Patient, and grateful.
Stories of No. 1 contenders not being afforded the same luxury have been well documented this year. Rashad Evans, Anthony Pettis and Chad Mendes would probably all like to have Condit’s luck right now, as the decision to keep him in reserve for GSP signals a split with how the company has handled high-profile injuries in the recent past.
We can only assume the UFC is letting Condit wait because St. Pierre’s knee injury is not considered overly serious and the two will still be able to fight sometime in early 2012. Also, maybe promotional brass were just tired of tinkering with the top of the UFC 137 lineup after Diaz’s inability to show up for work forced them to take a flamethrower to it once already.
That didn’t stop people on social media from floating the idea that the company could book Condit versus Diaz earlier this week. Maybe that outcome was even sort of expected, as that fight would have been a good one, would have been more in step with the UFC’s previous injury policies, and seemed like the only iteration between GSP, Condit, Diaz and B.J. Penn that hasn’t been tried yet.
To its credit however, the UFC stuck to its guns. In doing so, it also gave Condit the added opportunity of putting together a full training camp for GSP, instead of the seven-plus weeks he had prior to UFC 137. Any way you slice it, that’s a pretty good deal all around for “The Natural Born Killer.”
One potential problem, though: The plot will thicken considerably if Diaz defeats Penn next weekend, will it not?
If that happens, the UFC will be locked and loaded with the fight it meant to promote in the first place, except at this rate the soonest it could likely set up a Diaz-St. Pierre do-over would be early next summer.
Since Diaz has done far less to ingratiate himself with the company than a stand-up guy like Condit has, it’s hard to imagine matchmakers giving him any special treatment. Just like everybody else, he’d probably have to take a fight in the interim. On the off-chance he lost, then the GSP fight for which Diaz left Strikeforce and set up this whole mess in the first place would go bye-bye for the foreseeable future.
In light of that, would the UFC consider leap-frogging Diaz back into a title shot if he wins at UFC 137? Probably not. One thing the organization likes even less than protracted injury delays is going back on its word, especially when that word has already been decreed so publicly.
For now, Diaz takes a backseat. It seems like Condit’s luck will hold.