In today’s Mixed Martial Arts, new fights are announced so often it’s difficult to keep track of all of them, let alone understand how they came about and what the implications are. So twice a week here at The Fight Horizon on Inside Fights, writer Daniel Sohn takes a quick, but in-depth look at newly announced match-ups to mark on your calendar.
UFC on FOX 9 is headlined by Anthony Pettis, the new UFC Lightweight champion, looking to make his first successful title defense against dangerous challenger Josh Thomson. On an absolutely stacked card, two warriors from the Welterweight division will meet in what has the potential to not only be the Fight of the Night, but also the fight of the year.
Matt Brown (18-11 overall, 11-5 in the UFC)
Strengths: Extremely tough, violent, vicious finisher
Weaknesses: Submission defense
Carlos Condit (29-7 overall, 6-3 in the UFC)
Strengths: He’s a natural born killer, elite striking all around
Weaknesses: Earning takedowns
The Date: Dec. 14, 2013 at UFC on FOX 9
Weight Class: Welterweight
What led to it: Both of these guys won their last fights in very impressive fashion. Brown demolished Mike Pyle in under 30 seconds, winning that fight easily. Pyle was just the latest victim Brown added to his hitlist. Condit bounced back into the win column with a violent performance against Martin Kampmann, simultaneously avenging the loss he suffered in his UFC debut. Every other top contender in the division is already busy or just lost their last fight, and this one makes for one hell of an exciting matchup.
Why it matters: For Brown, this is really an audition to see if he belongs with the best of the welterweight division. He has been destroying guys in the welterweight division, just one after another. Pyle was Brown’s fourth consecutive KO or TKO finish and fifth finish in his last six fights. But Carlos Condit is a huge step up from the class of guys he’s been beating and will be, by far, the best fighter he will have ever faced.
A couple months back, Brown said something like he could outwrestle GSP any day of the week. It was a statement that was hard to take seriously considering Brown’s tendency to lose by submission and win by brawling and just being tougher than the other guy. But if Brown gets the upset over Condit, it wouldn’t seem as farfetched and it would definitely wake up the rest of the division, including GSP or whoever happens to be the welterweight champion. Brown is a guy that no one wants to face right now. He has everything to gain and not a whole lot to lose, and the way he fights, he just seems impossible to finish standing up. Condit is definitely the one doing the favor here.
For Condit, this could lead to a rematch with GSP or Johny Hendricks – if he becomes the one to finally dethrone St. Pierre. The winner of Rory MacDonald and Robbie Lawler would make a whole lot of sense too, but if both Rory and GSP win and still refuse to fight each other, we could be looking at that long awaited rematch between Rory MAC and Condit finally happening. That’s assuming that both of those guys get past their tough opponents of course.
Condit is that bad ass that just won’t go away, and he nearly finished St. Pierre in their fight, so a rematch would be worth making. The other guys in the division (besides MacDonald and Lawler) just aren’t ready or aren’t deserving of a shot at the title. Condit is back in the win column in a big way, and his last two losses were against the current champion and challenger. Even in those losses and his recent win, he showed that he remains an elite fighter. A big statement win over Matt Brown would strengthen his case for another crack at the title.