At least Carlos Condit isn’t retiring.

While he isn’t getting the Robbie Lawler rematch which he once said was the only logical fight for him to make to stop him from retiring from MMA, Carlos Condit is getting an opponent ranked higher than him and who may lead him to another crack at welterweight gold very soon.

Last Tuesday, the UFC announced that 4th ranked Condit will take on the red hot 3rd ranked Demia Maia at UFC 202 on August 20th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Threatened To Retire

It can be recalled that Condit engaged Lawler in a Fight of The Year Candidate war last January. Lawler retained the title by split decision but some observers believe that Condit was robbed of victory.

Following the loss, the 32-year old “Natural Born Killer” revealed that he was contemplating retirement. He then said the only fight that would motivate him to fight again would be a rematch with Lawler. After much speculation, the UFC ultimately booked Lawler to a UFC 203 bout with Tyron Woodley on July 30th. There were fears that Condit would make good on his retirement threat.

But Condit has since reconsidered, and now is booked to a fight where a win would most probably earn him a title shot. It’s widely considered that #1 ranked Stephen Thompson would be getting the winner of Lawler-Woodley after Thompson’s masterful victory over the erstwhile top ranked contender Rory MacDonald last month. But after Thompson, the winner between Condit-Maia should be next in line, making this fight very important to both aging fighters.

Unlikely Success

Maia himself is no longer in his younger years at 38. But he’s found his best career run at this unlikely stage. Considered as perhaps the best grappler in the sport today, Maia has racked up five consecutive wins since losing to Rory MacDonald at UFC 170.

His last three victories have come against impressive foes in Neil Magny, Gunnar Nelson and Matt Brown. Maia has only fought once for the UFC title and that was for the middleweight title at UFC 112 against Anderson Silva in 2010. A victory over Condit will most definitely cement a first crack at the welterweight title, perhaps in the early part of next year.

UFC 202 will be headlined by the welterweight rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz.

Surprise Favorite

Surprisingly, the streaking Maia opened as a slight -175 favorite against Condit who was at +142 when the lines were established. However, those numbers could change as the bets come in. Condit is a deceiving 2-4 in his last six bouts and sat out one year between 2014 and 2015 due to a knee injury so that could perhaps be the reason why he was installed as underdog. Maia, meanwhile, hasn’t lost since UFC 170 and has defeated world beaters in his last three fights.

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