The Natural Born Killer: Carlos Condit Brings A Brilliant Career to a Close

A look at the career of the legend Carlos Condit by Fringe MMA

Today is a sad day for many mixed martial arts fans including this one. Though it doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise, Carlos Condit has decided to call it a career. This is one of those retirements that is much more than just that, it’s the end of an era in mixed martial arts.

One filled with gritty five round wars, buckets of blood flying across the cage and fights that just seemed too brutal to be real and not something out of the movies. The true golden era of MMA.

Carlos Condit came into the sport at a time where it was just about to hit the mainstream, but really didn’t seem like it was. Before the time of The Ultimate Fighter, the groundbreaking reality TV show on Spike that catapulted the UFC from the brink of extinction to a household name.

The sport back in 2002 was still considered a bit of a circus by those who didn’t understand its beauty. The addition of rounds, weight classes and gloves was a relatively new development for mixed martial arts promotions in the United States. There were still very few states that would even sanction a cage fight at the time.

Carlos was a lanky looking, awkward kid that was so dangerous on the feet and the ground that opponents just didn’t see it coming. I don’t think many people had him favored over Frank Trigg at Rumble on the Rock 9 in 2006.

To put this fight into perspective, Frank Trigg’s only losses at that point were to a seriously dangerous Hayato Sakurai, who was riding an absurd 16-0-2 record in his last 18 fights leading up to their scrap and the others to none other than Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre.

So when Condit made quick work of Frank Trigg with a triangle/armbar submission in the first round, people took notice. One of those people happened to be the WEC’s co-founder Scott Adams.

I started to really follow Carlos Condit when he defended his WEC Welterweight Championship against a surging Brock Larson at WEC 29: Las Vegas.

At the time I was recreationally training at SLO Kickboxing, the gym owned by then UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Chuck Liddel and Scott Adams in San Luis Obispo, California.

I kept hearing this guy’s name thrown around the gym and then he captured the vacant WEC Welterweight strap. Everyone had eyes on this guy at that point. He was everything you hoped to see in a cage fighter.

  • Well Rounded
  • Aggressive
  • Striking Savant
  • Slick on the Ground
  • Excellent wrestling
  • Killer Instinct
  • Never Say Die
  • Good on the Mic

The Natural Born Killer had Pay Per View sales written all over him. The true, all out warrior people were willing to pay to see.

I remember sitting at a dive bar in San Luis Obispo, waiting for the UFC Fight Night 18 – Condit vs. Kampmann card to start. It was Condit’s UFC debut and I had my money on him in a friendly bet with Scott Adams. Apparently he had just changed up his camp before the fight and Scott had some inside information. The fight was not bad, but I lost my money.

After the Kampmann fight though, we got to see just how scrappy and dangerous the Natural Born Killer really was. That knock out of Dan Hardy was otherworldly and the flying knee on Dong Hyun Kim was stellar.

Then he put the beating of a lifetime on George St. Pierre, though it wasn’t enough to capture the title. That fight was absolutely epic. He even came back from a depressing five fight skid to beat Court McGee and Matt Brown only to drop what will now be his last fight in a decision to Max Griffin.

What a career this man had and I am so grateful that I was there to see most of it unfold. Thank you for all the epic fights, slick submissions and insane KO’s Mr. Condit. May retirement find you well and I hope we see you in some capacity in the MMA world in the future.

If are interested in more content like this, check out 5 Mixed Martial Arts Fighters that Time Forgot

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