“I don’t know if I belong here anymore,” he told reporters after the loss.
The Maia loss led to a hiatus in which the Albuquerque-based JacksonWink fighter largely disappeared from public view and left few clues as to whether he’d ever again fight.
But with a year to think about things, it’s clear the fire is still burning for the fighter nicknamed “The Natural Born Killer.”
On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Condit, who returns from his break to meet Neil Magny at UFC 219, said that while he might have felt down in the immediate aftermath of the loss to Maia, he was never quite out.
“That feeling never really left honestly, man,” Condit said. “I’m a fighter, this is what I love to do, there’s obviously a lot of different factors that go into making decisions. And as important as what I’m doing with my life and career and all that stuff. I think I wanted to fight, I’ll probably want to fight until the day I’m dead.”
The thing that nagged Condit after the Maia fight was that Condit, the former UFC interim and WEC welterweight champion, didn’t look like the fighter fans expect to see. Win or lose, Condit is nearly always competitive in his fights.
“At the time, [I was] feeling very dejected, disappointed,” Condit said. “And I’m a competitive person and I obviously fell short in, in my eyes, a really sh*tty way, because even fights I lost in the past in the UFC, I’ve still gone there and fought my ass off and put on hell of a show, And that fight I wasn’t able to do that and that added to the sting.”
Condit stepped away for awhile, mostly staying away from the gym. He worked for a medical sales company and started a coffee company called Hundred Hands Coffee before the gym started tugging him back.
“I’ve been debating and kind of getting back in the gym here and there and seeing where I’m at against other competitive fighters, and I did not, I was not sure I was on the fence for a long time.”
There was no one single defining moment that made Condit decide the time was right for a return. It was simply a matter getting back into the flow and realizing he was back home.
“There’s a lot of different factors,” Condit said. “I still love to fight, I still love to train, I love the process, I love the people I’ve surrounded myself with, I love my team and also, honestly there’s a financial piece to this, too. This is my trade, this is what I do. I didn’t go to college. I don’t have a whole lot of options as far as backup plans. I’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed, so, let’s strap up the gloves and get to it.”