Thursday, September 6, 2012
Superfight possibility is discounting Condit
By Chuck Mindenhall
Don't book your ticket to Dallas so long as Carlos Condit still has a say in things.
Talks of a superfight are revving up because of something Dana White said. But get this -- this "something" he said came in a conversation where he also swore off speaking about things prematurely.
As far as paradoxes go, this one went from zero-to-60 in under 30 minutes.
In an interview with "UFC Tonight," White alluded to the idea that Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva could be headed for the 100,000-seat Cowboys Stadium. These are long-standing, seemingly invulnerable champions finally converging on one another. This is a stadium that left the hole in the roof so God could continue watching his Cowboys.
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Now He might get to see the fights. Or "The Superfight," as it were. That is, if those famous Dallas stars align just right.
The hitch? Carlos Condit. Condit is scheduled to fight a freshly rehabilitated St. Pierre at UFC 154 in Montreal in November. Condit is no pushover. St. Pierre is not guaranteed to be the same St. Pierre.
Yet here we go making presumptions on one while looking right past the other. It’s fun to contemplate St. Pierre and Silva, but it’s dangerous to take for granted anything that Condit has a say in. After all, this is a guy who always brings heat. The erstwhile WEC champ is mean and direct and versatile. He ran from Nick Diaz? Condit runs toward St. Pierre. It’s why Condit exposed the interim title as nothing more than fool’s gold.
There are other factors, even if they border on clichés. Condit is familiar with St. Pierre, and knows that St. Pierre is a master at exploiting weakness. There are very few weaknesses with Condit, but where they can be found, he knows St. Pierre is zeroing in. St. Pierre knows Condit knows this. Where it stops, nobody knows.
It’s a lot of familiarity that could get obliterated with one well-timed left hand. It could also be thwarted by a series of deeper circumstances. Things like St. Pierre showing up extra rusty, or Condit showing up extra hungry. Or it could be something more unfathomable, like the possibility that Condit is better. That’s why they fight. To find stuff like that out.
Not likely? People didn’t think Frankie Edgar was better than B.J. Penn or that Junior dos Santos was better than Cain Velasquez.
All arguments get settled on fight night. Minds get changed. New invincibles enter our fantasy space.
Who's to say come November, Georges St. Pierre returns as his old self and not an old version of himself?
But when we talk about things like a conditional superfight -- even casually, even when we’re tiptoeing around the big "ifs" so as not to jinx anything -- the fight finds a way of never happening. Particularly at Cowboys Stadium, which was built on fantastic notions. Remember the last big presumption going on with Jerry Jones’ $650 million Arlington mecca? Back in 2010, when the talk was all about the Cowboys going to the Super Bowl and playing right there in their own backyard? They sputtered. They finished 6-10.
On the show, White confessed he spoke too soon about Lyoto Machida fighting Jon Jones at UFC 152, and he checked himself for speaking prematurely. That didn’t stop him from forecasting the superfight moments later, and setting off rockets that this thing is out there looming big and turning shades of gold on the horizon.
Realistically, White was just answering a question about the possibility of a superfight that everybody knows is being talked about. Both Silva's and St. Pierre’s camps have warmed to the idea of the timing of the catchweight fight. It’s finally a real possibility, and in a hype game it’s fun to plant the seeds. People like buildups. If X gets through Y, we are looking at Z. Z has been a hot topic on message boards for years. Z is champion versus champion, where one man will emerge -- hyperbolically speaking -- as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
With the crazier notion still that one of them, either Anderson Silva or Georges St. Pierre, will actually lose. That part’s the kicker.
But this whole house of cards comes crashing down if Condit turns the trick of beating St. Pierre first. Condit is not amused by our indulgent fun. And, ultimately, he’s got a bigger say in a superfight going down than any of us.