Stephie Daniels: With the ruleset as it stands right now, a great deal of emphasis is placed on takedowns, regardless of how effective they are, or how much or how little damage is achieved after securing one. Hendricks scored several takedowns on you, but wasn't able to achieve much with them. What are your thoughts on this, and do you think a change in the current criteria is in order?
Carlos Condit: I think takedowns are important, but I agree, it's what you do with them that counts. If you can use the takedown to control the fight, then that can be scored as octagon control. However, if you're taking somebody down, and not doing much with it, and if the guy gets right back up, then I think that stand-ups and escapes should also carry some weight in the judge's eyes.
SD: When they announced the decision, there was an obvious look of disappointment on your face. Was that because you felt the decision should have gone your way?
CC: You know, I was expecting them to announce Johny's name, but I had a little glimmer of hope that I may have gotten one of those first two rounds on the judge's score cards. The disappointed look wasn't toward the judges or anything about the decision. It was more about my performance. I was just disappointed in myself, more than anything.
SD: I spoke with Greg Jackson yesterday, and he told me he was pleased with your overall performance, especially in that Johny couldn't keep you down or make his takedowns effective. Keeping that in mind, where do you go back in your training to correct whatever problems you personally see in yourself?
CC: We can talk about the scoring system and judging, but we all know the state of things right now, and wrestling is a very important thing, and makes a big impact on decisions, and I think it should. It's definitely a big part of mixed martial arts, so basically what I need to do is go and work on my wrestling.
I've been doing it, but I think I need to do more intense training in that aspect of my game. While I'm in training camp, I don't do a whole lot of live wrestling, because I feel like that's where most of my injuries occur. I need to be able to make it to the fight, so I drill a lot and do a lot of situational wrestling, but I think now that I don't have anything on the books, and I've got a little bit of time, I really need to go and hammer that out to work intensively on my wrestling.
SD: Do you get that additional wrestling through Jacksons or through another camp?
CC: The cool thing about Jacksons is that we have a ton of resources. We've got guys coming in from all over the world. Right now we have about five or six guys from Southern Russia that are incredible wrestlers. We also have Izzy Martinez, who is Jon Jones wrestling coach. I definitely have the resources at Jacksons. I just need to utilize them.
SD: Did you watch the Diaz / GSP fight, and if so, what did you think of it?
CC: Yeah, I watched most of that fight. It went very much as I expected it to go. It was a little bit lackluster, nothing to write home about. Georges is very good at what he does, but a lot of his fights aren't really very exciting.
SD: You seemed to let your hands go much earlier in your fight with Hendricks than you did with St. Pierre. Do you think if you had fought as aggressively then as you did this time, you might have beaten Georges?
CC: I fought the fight against Hendricks that I wish I had fought against GSP, honestly, with the stand-ups and the striking and everything. You know what? With Georges, you've got to get in there and do what you have to do to win. I don't care how you win. That's from a fighter's perspective. You've got to get in there and win the fight.
Yeah, I put on an exciting show in my last one, but I didn't get the number one contender's spot. I don't get a title fight. I don't get the things that come along with that, the bigger paydays and that sort of thing. Exciting or not exciting, you've got to win fights. I like to put on a show and do it in exciting fashion, but I can't knock Georges for his style at all.
SD: You say that you like to put on exciting fights, and lots of other athletes have voiced the same sentiment, but is there really a conscious effort or part of your gameplan to do that, or does it come down to whether a person's instincts tell them to go for broke or to play it safe?
CC: I think for me, personally, it's just part of my makeup. I think a big part of the reason why my fights tend to be so exciting is because I'm not the most ... well, you know a lot of the guys I fight are honestly better than I am. I just want it more. I have heart, and I have a chin and I love to fight. I think that formula, or combination of things just makes for exciting fights.