Carlos Condit’s fight week in the build up to UFC 120 continues to go from bad to worse.
After being delayed at New York airport on Tuesday, which ensured he missed the open media workouts on Wednesday, he was then on the receiving end of a verbal tag-team attack at the pre-fight press conference on Thursday.
Firstly, the New Mexico native was reprimanded for stating his belief that the judges in England on on Saturday night may favour his opponent, Dan Hardy, should the bout go the distance.
“He’s a tough fighter. I want to be in tough fights and I want to be in exciting fights,” said Condit, in response to a question on why he asked Zuffa for the chance to fight Hardy.
“In the past I think I’ve always risen to the level of my opponent and I think Saturday night will be no different.
“I imagine that it will be tough to win a decision, but I’m not looking for a decision.”
This drew the ire of Michael Bisping, who many fans stateside believe received a favorable decision in his victory over Matt Hamill at UFC 75 in London in September 2007, who interrupted: “Can I just say I don’t know what he means by ‘tough to win a decision’. I think we have American judges here anyway.
“It pisses me off when people say that. We win fights because we win fights.”
A weary-looking Condit attempted to justify his statement, before a hostile exchange ensued.
Condit: “The crowd is obviously going to be biased…”
Bisping (interrupting): “Yes, but the judges aren’t!”
Condit: “Hopefully not.”
Bisping: “Fortunately the crowd don’t judge the fights.”
Condit: “It won’t even be an issue.”
Hardy silently stared intently at his opponent throughout the exchange, having earlier mocked him for requesting the bout, but tried to further get under his skin by doubting the legitimacy of his travel issues.
“I think it was a little silly to be honest. Of all the people he could have fought in the division, there’s a lot more easier fights out there than me,” said Hardy, who lost a decision to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in his last bout.
“I might not be the best wrestler or the best jiu jitsu guy in the world, but I don’t back down, I don’t give up and any night in the octagon with me is going to be a rough night.
“Respect to him for getting over here. I was worried the other day when I head he’d not got on the plane – I thought he was trying to wriggle his way out.
“But he’s here, either by his own will or somebody else’s, and I’ve just got to prove to him on Saturday night is was the wrong thing to do.”
Condit then attempted to explain the circumstances surrounding the delays, but was again interrupted, this time by Hardy.
“My passport is a little worn. I’ve had it for a long time and I travel all over the place,” said Condit.
“Basically they didn’t want to let us get on the plane in the New York, so we went down to customs and there was no problems with it and I had no problems when I got here to London.
“So, basically a few at the flight counter were giving us a hard time, but we got it taken care of.
“According to them there are heightened security risks and factors so that’s why they were scrutinising my passport more than usual.
“But, I’ve never had a problem getting anywhere. I’ve travelled internationally recently and it was never a problem and I didn’t have a problem when I got here.”
This prompted his opponent to interject with: “They were clearly Dan Hardy fans doing it for his own good.
“He really should have been thanking them and going back to New Mexico, but sometimes you can’t take a hint.”
Following two days of departure lounge dramas and long-haul flights, Condit shrugged his shoulder as if to abandon any effort to best the quick-talking Brit in a verbal joust.
However, he then defiantly signed off by warning him it will not be as easy to break his will in the octagon on Saturday.
“I’m the best fighter that I’ve ever been in my career so far,” warned Condit.
“I’m in the best shape, I’ve had the best camp, so I like my chances.”
UFC 120 airs on a tape delay in the United States on Spike TV, but airs live in the United Kingdom on ESPN.
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