Condit Out of UFC 137 For Sure?

If there’s one thing that is guaranteed in the UFC, it’s that things happen fast. This is true in the cage, and it is true in the offices of Zuffa. You don’t have to tell that to Carlos Condit. He’s been around long enough to see matches quickly change opponents, due to injury or Diaz otherwise…

Scheduled to face BJ Penn at UFC 137, Condit began training. Watching tape, working on counters to BJ’s tendencies, advancing his own strengths… Then he got the call. Nick Diaz had disappeared during a scheduled press event for the fight (Diaz of course was originally slated to face Georges St. Pierre) and they wanted to bump him up to the Main Event to face GSP for the title. He was reportedly overwhelmed at the prospect and agreed.

In a strange turn of events, Nick Diaz now faces BJ Penn, taking Condit’s place.

So Condit began adjusting his training to account for GSP’s strengths. Watching more tape and learning more counters. Then he got another call: GSP injured his knee during camp and would not be fighting.

Condit is ready for a fight. He’s gone through a grueling training camp, emerged in tremendous shape and is set to peak on October 29th. Yet as of this writing, he has no opponent.

Now, officially, the company line is that Condit will wait for GSP to heal and face him in a few months. But if we’ve learned anything from the Light Heavyweight division, it’s that you don’t wait to fight. What happens if Condit gets injured training for GSP in a few months? Do we expect GSP to wait? Probably not. Yet, Condit insists, and Dana White has said, that Condit will not fight at UFC 137.

But things change quickly in the UFC. Just ask Charlie Brenneman. This is only a day old at this point, and it could still be a developing story…. And there are a number of options for Condit, if you’ll allow me some creative license, here are my favorite scenarios:

1. BJ Penn
I know this seems ridiculous, but Penn did express some frustration at having to fight Diaz. And one can hardly argue that Diaz deserves Main Event status after his shenanigans. As much as I really enjoy seeing Diaz throw down, this scenario is very interesting and could happen. You think that Diaz is the big draw here, but remember: UFC on Fox changes everything. Lots of people are going to watch the UFC for the first time in the coming year, and they aren’t going to know who the big draws are. Good fights are what’s gonna bring them back, and Penn-Condit has a good chance to be a good fight.

2. Nick Diaz
Hell, yeah, Nick Diaz. The dude messed up Condit’s whole gig, first by allowing him the titleshot and then fate stepped in and took it away. Condit’s got lots of motive for wanting to take Diaz apart. And Diaz was very clear in his “apology”: He’s down to fight anybody. Now, this would make a good fight. Better, in my opinion, than Penn-Condit. But I give Penn the first slot because he earned it.

3. Jake Ellenberger
After finishing Jake Shields quickly, Ellenberger has to be ready for more. He just fought, so he wouldn’t need an extended training camp. He’s ranked and primed for a run at the title. Condit took a split decision from Ellenberger at UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs. Guillard in September, 2009, roughly three years after Condit lost by unanimous decision to Sheilds at Rumble on the Rock 9. Now that Ellenberger has beaten Shields, he’s gotta be itching for a rematch…

4. Josh Koscheck
His performance against Matt Hughes showed he still has it at Welterweight, and it showed he isn’t afraid to take a fight last-minute. He’d be on my speed dial if I were Dana White…

5. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson
He took very little punishment in his domination of Charlie Brenneman. He doesn’t strike me as the sort of person who lets himself go after a fight. He might give Condit all the fight he could ask for.

Speaking of which: Has anybody seen Charlie Brenneman in the greater Las Vegas/Henderson area?