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Carlos Condit to Earn Welterweight Title Shot if He Beats Tyron Woodley at UFC 171

(Next time I’m at the gym, I’m going to do a thousand steps on the stair climber while wearing UFC gloves, big red headphones, and no shirt, and if anybody says anything to me about it, well…they’re just lucky I’m on probation right now. / Photo via @CarlosCondit)

According to a UFC on FOX tweet sent out yesterday, welterweight contender Carlos Condit will receive a title shot if he’s victorious against Tyron Woodley at UFC 171 on March 15th. It would be Condit’s second shot at the UFC’s unified 170-pound title, following his unsuccessful challenge against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 154 in November 2012.

Since it’s our nature to be critical, let’s start by listing the reasons this plan doesn’t make sense. Condit is currently on a one-fight win streak, and is about to fight a guy ranked just outside of the top ten. If Johny Hendricks defeats Robbie Lawler in the UFC 171 main event and Condit beats Woodley, we’d be getting another Hendricks vs. Condit fight relatively soon after the first one. Can’t we get some fresh contenders in the mix, now that GSP isn’t around? How many opponents do Matt Brown and Dong Hyun Kim have to tear through before they get their shots, damn it? (And obviously, Condit vs. Woodley is one of those matches where only one of the fighters is promised a title shot if he wins, right? Ugh, I hate that.)

Then again, who else besides Condit is ready for a welterweight title fight at this point? You could argue that Brown and Kim haven’t beaten any top contenders yet, and shouldn’t even be in the conversation until they do. There’s also Rory MacDonald floating around near the top of the 170-pound ladder. We’ll let Tyron Woodley himself explain why “Ares” shouldn’t get the next title shot either, because it’s kind of hilarious:

I think Rory needs to get out of here, to be honest,” Woodley flatly said on a Thursday media conference call. “Carlos finished Rory. He has a very skewed memory. He got finished by Carlos, and he just lost to Robbie. In the event that Carlos wins, or the event that Robbie wins, where does Rory stand then? He lost to both of those two guys…

He did look good against Demian Maia, who’s a good fighter,” Woodley acknowledged. “He stepped forward, he didn’t get a lot of scrutiny about being overly conservative, and having his style of fighting that really didn’t open up as (much as) when he first came in.

But I hold everybody [fighting in UFC 171's main and co-main events] in high regard. For me to defeat Carlos Condit, that’s more important than him defeating Demian Maia any day of the week…

[MacDonald] should’ve taken that chance when he had it. You were ranked the third welterweight in the world, being the gatekeeper, beating top guys. And then when it comes down to fighting GSP, you didn’t want to do it. I’m pretty sure Carlos has had some training sessions with GSP at Greg Jackson’s camp. When came down to fight him, he stepped up to the plate and he was trying to take his head off. I think that’s where the ball kind of dropped in his court, and I think it’s kind of comical that he thinks all of a sudden he’s just going to jump in front. Same as (Nick) Diaz, he’s thinks he’s just going to jump in front. I think they’re sharing the same bag of weed.”

Or as Robert DeNiro might say, Rory had a chance to step up and he blewwww iiiiiiiit! Fair enough. I also think it’s interesting that Woodley is discussing the welterweight pecking order “in the event that Carlos wins.” You rarely hear UFC fighters mention the possibility of losing upcoming fights. It’s as strange as it is honest.

So does Carlos Condit deserve the next welterweight title shot with a win over Woodley? If not, then who? Your thoughts, please.

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