Saturday, March 17, 2007

Carlos Condit talks WEC, Alessio

By Keith Mills

On March 24th WEC returns to the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas for their second show under Zuffa ownership. One of the fights on the card is a Welterweight title fight between Carlos Condit and John Alessio, both of whom fought on the previous WEC show.

Carlos Condit fights out of FIT NHB in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is best known for his participation in last year’s Rumble on the Rock Welterweight 8-man tournament where he lost in the finals to former Shooto Champion and Abu Dhabi Worlds vet Jake Shields. On the way to the finals he beat UFC vets Renato Verissimo and Frank Trigg.

KM: What do you think about fighting John Alessio? CC: I think he is a great opponent, solid all around, and is a great athlete. I’ve watched him against Diego Sanchez, Thiago Alves, and Ronald Jhun. Style-wise I think it can be really exciting because he has some pretty good standup skills but we’ll see if he wants to stand with me. Speaking for myself I am hungry for this. I’m ready to go in there and put everything on the line, take whatever punishment it takes to win this thing. I know Alessio, every time he comes in he comes in great shape and I know he is hungry as well. I think it is going to be a knock down, drag out fight.

KM: Did you see his fight in WEC the same night you fought? CC: No, I missed that.

KM: WEC has been around a while and used to be known as having their title holders move on to the UFC. Zuffa has owned UFC for years and now owns WEC, vacating most of the belts in the process and trying to make the WEC run as competition. Given all that what does the UFC belt mean to you? CC: I’m really excited to be fighting for the WEC. Like I said before they are a great organization and now they have the backing of Zuffa which is awesome. I think there is going to be a lot of top competition I can fight in there to make my name in the sport.

KM: I don’t want to put words in your mouth but it sounds like fighting John is the goal and the belt isn’t the main reason. CC: I’m really looking forward to fighting for a title. It has almost been a year since my last title shot against Jake Shields and I’m looking for some redemption in the title fight arena.

KM: In addition to WEC you have fought in established shows like Rumble on the Rock and Pancrase among others. Can you put WEC in perspective with those other shows? CC: The last time I went out there it was very well run, they are very professional, know what they are doing, I like the venue the Joint at the Hard Rock, and I think it is a top-notch event.

KM: Your last fight in WEC was against Kyle Jensen. Can you describe that fight? CC: It was real quick. He said he wanted to out-strike me but he shot right away. We had a bit of a scramble and I ended up re-shooting and getting on top with him on his back. I passed his guard, went to side mount and then mount pretty quickly. As I started dropping some strikes he rolled over and gave up his back. I was able to finish with a rear naked choke.

KM: This is the last WEC before the Versus Network deal kicks in. Is that a sense of relief you don’t have to worry about it airing live or can you not wait to get on TV…? CC: I’m looking forward to it being televised live. It is more of a chance to get myself out there and people to see my style which is what I want. I think it is great it will be on Versus Channel, I watch Versus Channel at my house. They have boxing and World Combat League and a lot of sports. It is going to be a good thing.

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