Before I get to the nuts and bolts of this post, I just want to say that this is in no way a shot at Carlos Condit as I think he is a phenomenal fighter and have always and will always be a fan of his. But sometimes, I have to tell it how I see it.
On September 16th, 2009 a welterweight named Jake Ellenberger made his UFC debut. His opponent? None other then the former WEC Welterweight Champion and current UFC Welterweight Interim Champion, Carlos Condit. Not only did Ellenberger take that fight on two weeks notice but it was also going to be his UFC debut.
That fight would end in controversy as Carlos Condit won via split decision. Some say Ellenberger won, some say Condit won. However, the judges thought Condit won and that’s all that mattered at that point in time.
Since then, Ellenberger has been on a terror in the UFC welterweight division with six straight wins since. Wins coming over the likes of two top 10 welterweights, Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez. The win over Shields catapulted Ellenberger close to the top of the division as it was only Shields’ second loss since 2005. The other loss was to UFC Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre.
Condit was also rising fast as since he defeated Ellenberger he went on to beat (Not including Nick Diaz) Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy and undefeated Dong Hyun Kim.
I’m not going into all of happenings with the GSP, Condit, Diaz saga as we all know what happened there. So, I will fast forward to the end of the Diaz/Condit UFC Welterweight Interim championship fight where we saw Condit become the new UFC Welterweight Interim champion.
In steps, my opinion. We all know that GSP is injured and according to GSP himself, the time frame for his return is “Novemberish.” That is nine months from when Condit defeated Nick Diaz. Now, there is a chance that he could be ready sooner and there is a chance he may not be ready by November. Anything can happen at any given time.
On to the title. To be very blunt, what’s the point of having an interim champion if that interim champion will never defend that title. Honestly, when Condit vs. GSP happens I will not be acknowledging Condit as the interim champion, only the number one contender who didn’t fight for close to a year because he was waiting for GSP to return.
Honestly, if you are going to crown an interim champion, they should not get to sit around for nine months (possibly more) when there is another guy deserving of a shot. I completely understand both Condit’s and the UFC’s point in wanting to market this fight as Carlos Condit vs. GSP for the UFC Welterweight Title will be a huge draw. But, isn’t every fight with GSP a huge draw? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter who is standing across the Octagon from GSP, people will want to see that fight.
If you tell me that a rematch from a controversial decision between Carlos Condit and Jake Ellenberger is not a fight that will sell pay per view buys or tickets, I would have to call you crazy. It would be sold as a huge rematch and like me, others would see it that way as well.
Basically then entire welterweight division is on hold for the next year because the interim champion doesn’t have to defend the title which doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe I’m wrong but isn’t the point of crowning a new champ while the current champ is out is so they can still have “title fights” and when GSP is ready, you have a true number one contender?
There are talks about Ellenberg’s next fight being Martin Kampmann. Honestly, that doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m a Kampmann fan and I think he’s a tremendous fighter but he is 2-2 in his last four fights. Kampmanns last two losses came from guys that Ellenberger defeated quite decisively. Kampann’s most recent win’s are over a guy who is 2-4 in his last six fights only makes two in a row for him and his other coming over a guy who I wouldn’t put in the top 10. To me, it’s not fair to Ellenberger.
Due to the close decision with Kampmann and Shields maybe that fight should happen again. Or possibly, the winner of Rory MacDonald and Che Mills which takes place in April. But what do I know? I’m no match maker right?
Anyway you look at this whole situation, I feel that Condit should have to defend his interim title and the winner should get GSP. Unless GSP will be out for longer, then the current interim champion should have to defend again and again and again until the actual champion returns.
Here is another idea. Maybe Ellenberger should sit out and wait for the winner of GSP vs. Condit. But some of you would criticize him and look down on Ellenberger right? Well, it’s a two way street and the exact same scenario whether there is a title involved or not.
What do you think?
Below is a video from UFC Tonight with Jake Ellenberger stating he would like to fight Carlos Condit next.