VANCOUVER — It was supposed to be the fight that got him back to the UFC title and instead Carlos Condit suffered a major knee injury that will put him out of action for the next year.
Condit lost to Tyron Woodley in March after blowing out his knee, forcing the fight to be stopped by TKO due to injury. If losing wasn’t bad enough, the former interim champion then got the news that it was his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which would require reconstructive knee surgery.
It’s the same injury suffered by former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and featherweight standout Conor McGregor — which means Condit will be out for around 12 months before he can even contemplate stepping foot back in the Octagon.
Article continues below ...
"I had surgery like March 29 I believe. Complete ACL replacement, repaired meniscus," Condit told FOX Sports on Thursday. "I was walking pretty much immediately, I was on crutches for a week or two and I had a brace for a little bit longer than that, but recovery’s going well. It’s slow going, it’s an involved process, but it’s going well so far."
As much as Condit wants to be back immediately, he knows that pushing too hard could result in a second injury and even more time out of the cage. So he’s rehabbing the knee properly and taking things slow and easy until he’s ready to come back.
I’m going to get that rematch. Whether it’s my first fight back or whether it’s down the road.
— Carlos Condit on Tyron Woodley
Following the loss to Woodley, Condit isn’t short on motivation.
"This happened in a fight, I lost that fight. I have motivation to come back and get that rematch and come back better than ever," Condit said. "I’m still trying to get that title belt. I’ve still got some time in the game, I’m coming back better, I’m coming back stronger."
The fight with Woodley haunts Condit a little bit because not only did it cost him a year of his career with the knee injury, but it shows as a loss on his record. While he takes nothing away from the former Strikeforce contender for a job well done, Condit also knows that his knee injury was a freak occurrence and there’s no telling how that fight would have ended if it didn’t happen.
"I think it was a freak thing. I’ve been taken down a hell of a lot of times in fights recently and that didn’t happen, but he won the fight," Condit said. "I’m not going to take the win away from him, but the injury, that can happen. You see guys step wrong in the Octagon and it happens. He initiated the takedown, that’s how I got hurt but it’s splitting hairs honestly."
It’s not easy for Condit to watch the welterweight division right now because after several years of the weight class being ruled by Georges St-Pierre and his wrestling heavy style, the fighters at the top right now all seem like good matchups for ‘The Natural Born Killer’. Whether it’s Robbie Lawler, Matt Brown or even a rematch with Johny Hendricks, Condit would like nothing more than to be back in the mix of things, but he can’t allow that fire to burn through him too quickly.
Instead he turns it to a slow simmer until reaching the boiling point in early 2015 and then he can erupt like a volcano ready to conquer the welterweight division again.
"It’s frustrating being out all around. Seeing Matt Brown going and getting the title eliminator fight when I was supposed to fight him, seeing these guys that I’m in the mix with just moving up" Condit said. "I just have to watch as a spectator at this point and focus on what I can do right now, which is make myself better and get myself to a place where I can compete again."
And as far as Woodley goes, Condit still has work to do there as well.
It’s nothing personal and there’s no grudge to be settled — Condit just wants to finish what he started.
"I’m going to get that rematch," Condit said about Woodley. "Whether it’s my first fight back or whether it’s down the road. I want to rematch everyone I lost to, I’m 2-0 in rematches in my career so far."