Most UFC fans know the story by now. Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz, who was on a 10-fight win streak, relinquished his title to come to the UFC and was to be granted an immediate title shot against welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
However, after failing to appear at a press conference in Canada to promote the fight, he was pulled from the title bout and instead given a fight with B.J. Penn in the UFC 137 co-main event. Penn’s originally scheduled opponent, Carlos Condit, would take Diaz’s place against St-Pierre for the title.
All that changed when St-Pierre pulled out of his fight with Condit due to a knee injury. Once that happened, the Penn-Diaz bout was then moved to the main event and Condit was to wait on the sidelines for his title shot until St-Pierre had recovered.
Diaz put such a dominating beating on Penn this past weekend and in such an impressive fashion that the UFC brass decided to pull Condit out of his title fight with St-Pierre and instead award Diaz the immediate title shot he had first come over to the UFC to fight in the first place.
UFC President Dana White announced at the UFC 137 post-fight press conference, “We called Carlos Condit, he’s agreed. He’s stepped aside. He wants to fight on that same card. And we’re hoping to do this thing on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas.”
White was later asked if Condit was given a choice to step aside. White said, “Of course. I didn’t call him up and say… I like Carlos Condit, I respect him. He’s getting the next title shot and he said he wants to fight on that card too. It was a good conversation.”
Condit’s manager, Malki Kawa, President of First Round Management, however, tells a different story. Tonight on Inside MMA, which has moved to a live format on Monday nights on HDNet, reported they had received the following statement from Kawa:
“We are obviously disappointed in the UFC’s decision to cancel its commitment with Carlos Condit to give another fighter an opportunity at the welterweight title based on emotional reactions from UFC 137. Contrary to what has been stated, Carlos did not step aside to allow this to happen, and would not just hand over an opportunity for him to achieve his greatest career goal, one that he has earned through his strong performances in the Octagon. No option was given to him.”
“For the second time in less than two weeks, Carlos has had an opportunity swept out from beneath his feet. He has shown nothing but pure class in his drive to the title, and will continue to do so. Carlos does not need motivation to fight for the title, he already has it. The situation will only motivate Carlos more. He will move forward and continue to train at the level that has made him the legitimate number one contender for the UFC welterweight championship, and he is looking forward to the opportunity to earn that title.”
The good news for Condit is that he still gets a title shot. The bad news is if he does choose to fight on the same card with St-Pierre-Diaz on Super Bowl weekend and loses then his title fight opportunity gets pulled off the table.