Welterweight battle could determine next title contender
Through the first three installments of Under the Radar, every fight I've selected has come from the preliminary portion of the evening.
Most of the time, the main card fights get the attention they deserve — if not more — so I like to shed a little light on a pairing that I feel merits a little more media burn. This time around, however, there is a main card meeting that no one seems to be talking about and I can't understand why.
CARLOS CONDIT vs. DONG HYUN KIM
Carlos Condit (26-5, 3-1 UFC)
WIN UFC 120 Dan Hardy (KO, Round 1)
WIN UFC 115 Rory MacDonald (TKO, Round 3)
WIN UFN 19 Jake Ellenberger (Split Decision)
Dong Hyun Kim (14-0-1, 1 No Contest)
WIN UFC 125 Nate Diaz (Unanimous Decision)
WIN UFC 114 Amir Sadollah (Unanimous Decision)
WIN UFC 100 TJ Grant (Unanimous Decision)
Why We Love This Fight
First and foremost, Carlos Condit is one of the most exciting fighters in the sport and has been for quite some time. Every time "The Natural Born Killer" takes to the cage, you know you're going to be treated to an entertaining bout.
Second, he's facing a ridiculously underrated talent who has yet to taste defeat. Say what you will about Dong Hyun Kim, his style and string of decision wins; the guy does what it takes to win and at the end of the day, that's what matters most. You don't get to this level of the sport with a zero in the loss column without doing something right.
This is a massive fight for both men as it has the potential to establish the winner as the next challenger for the welterweight title.
Kim's suffocating judo style is poisonous for Condit, a guy who likes to strike from angles and utilize space to his advantage. We saw Rory MacDonald use his strength to dominate Condit in the opening two rounds of their epic encounter at UFC 115, and my money says Kim has more power than the kid from Kelowna, B.C.
On the flipside, Condit is easily the biggest challenge of Kim's career and the best striker he's faced. So far, he's gotten the better of guys he can dominate in the clinch and who play a similar style to him in the cage, but that won't be the case with Condit. If Kim gives the former WEC champ an opening the way he did in the final round of his fight with Diaz, you can be sure that Condit is going to capitalize.
The welterweight division is devoid of marquee contenders right now; Georges St. Pierre has dispatched them all already.
As such, the winner here might get a Dan Hardy-esque opportunity later this year, bumped into a big match though they haven't really quite done enough to earn it completely.
Whoever emerges victorious will be "in the mix" and leave Dana White "not sure" where they stand when he stands on behind the podium at the post-fight press conference. But if GSP gets by Nick Diaz, don't be surprised if the winner of this one gets to stand opposite St. Pierre at a later date.
Now do you see why we love this fight and think it should be getting a little more attention?