Saturday, August 27 from 6pm EST at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, Canada
TWO men who are coming towards the end of their respective careers meet in Canada for UFC Fight Night.
Welterweight duo Demian Maia and Carlos Condit are both in their 30s and desperately need to win if they are to end their UFC tenures in the title frame.
Carlos Condit in particular is keen to make a good impression.
The former World Extreme Cagefighting champion was a contentious loser to Robbie Lawler via split decision back in January.
Condit said his next fight would only be a title rematch, but after Lawler lost the gold a little over a month ago, the 32-year-old felt his best option would be to take on dangerous grappler Maia.
The 38-year-old Maia may be a veteran by anyone’s standards, but the Brazilian is arguably in career-best form. He has a sensational five fight win streak, including two submission victories over Matt Brown Neil Magny.
This is a fight that could end a career or propel another into the title picture.
“I can’t do this forever” – Condit
Carlos Condit may be six years younger than his opponent on Sunday, but if he is to be taken at his word heading into one of the most important non-title fights in his career, he could be contemplating retirement.
“I love this sport,” he said.
“It’s going to be hard to pull me away. Logically, I’ve got to figure out something else to do for a career because I can’t do this forever, but I’ve still got a little bit of time. I’ve still got some fight in me, I think.”
Widely considered one of the most proficient fighters in the sport, Condit said he is looking forward to coming up against one of the best grapplers in the UFC in Demain Maia.
“It has been a fun challenge,” Condit said.
“He’s an amazing grappler. He’s very, very good at what he does. He’s well-rounded, even though he mainly sticks to his jiu-jitsu. But yeah, it’s been fun preparing to try and solve a puzzle like Demian Maia.
“I love jiu-jitsu. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the sport. Obviously, I’m not going to get in there and try to go eyeball to eyeball with Demian Maia in a jiu-jitsu exchange, but I think I have the skills to create opportunities to do what I want to do in there and finish the fight.”
While his opponent may hold the advantage in the grappling stakes, Condit believes his superior conditioning will hold him in great stead coming into Sunday.
“I feel like my conditioning is a weapon, and the later the fight goes, as these guys start to get fatigued, that’s really when I kick into my second gear,” Condit said.
“I have that as something in my arsenal.”
Who will win UFC Fight Night and why
Odds provided by bovada.lv
It is a contrast in styles here as Maia will try and control the fight through his superior grappling while Condit will try and use his incredible cardio to his advantage.
Stamina is perhaps Condit’s biggest advantage in this fight.
He has an awkward striking style which leaves him open to Maia’s takedowns, but even with a dangerous guard, there is virtually no chance that he will be able to outgrapple Maia on the ground.
Condit will need to wear Maia down across the five rounds and take advantage as the Brazilian begins to tire.
Condit proved he can match it with the very best in his contentious split decision loss to Robbie Lawler back in January. Anything close to that form will see him easily account for Maia here.
We are backing the 32-year-old to overcome his much older opponent en route to getting another shot at the UFC gold.
Other fights on the card
Joe Lauzon (-140) vs. Jim Miller (+110)
Paige Vanzant (-210) vs. Bec Rawlings (+170)
Anthony Pettis (-200) vs. Charles Oliveira (+160)