shed, and then I lost a real close position to Johny Hendricks. Having victory slip through my fingers like that really gives me some fire to make sure I finish this fight."
Condit (28-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) returns to action at Wednesday night's "UFC Fight Night 27: Condit vs. Kampmann 2" event, where he headlines the card in a rematch with the only other man to beat him in the past seven years, Martin Kampmann (20-6 MMA, 11-5 UFC). The event takes place at Indianapolis' Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and the main card airs on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on FOX Sports 2 and Facebook.
Despite the back-to-back defeats, Condit said he jumped at the opportunity to book the rematch.
"I was excited," Condit told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
). "This is a fight that I've been looking forward to for a long time, and I jumped at the opportunity."
Kampmann has gone 5-4 since the 2009 win over Condit, though he's picked up "Fight of the Night," "Submission of the Night" and "Knockout of the Night" bonuses along the way. Meanwhile, Condit has gone 5-2 since the original meeting, picking up the UFC's interim welterweight title along the way, though he lost it in an attempt to unify the belt with champion St-Pierre.
Still, nearly four years after the original meeting, Condit believes fans will actually see a better version of both fighters.
"I'm a better fighter," Condit said. "I've grown quite a bit as a person. I've had these really tough fights against high-level opponents. I think that's going to show. But he's improved, too. This is Condit vs. Kampmann 2.0. This is going to be a better version of both of us – both hungry, both coming off losses looking to get back in the win column.
"Particularly his striking is better, I think. He's always been well-versed in striking, but it's gotten better. He looks sharper. He's more dangerous on his feet. I'm sure he's improved all around, but that's what stands out to me."
The battle for both fighters is imperative in their ability to remain relevant in the 170-pound title picture. Condit is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com welterweight MMA rankings. Kampmann sits in the No. 8 slot.
Condit knows how important a victory is for his title chances.
"A win over Kampmann puts me back in the title mix," Condit said. "But first things first, and I've got to take care of this guy. Martin is super tough. He's improved quite a bit since our last fight, and I definitely have my hands full."
But should Condit survive his latest test, he's already got a few more in mind. If he's getting the chance to avenge one negative outcome, why not another? He wouldn't mind starting with Hendricks.
"I would request a five-round fight with him," Condit said. "I feel like I was getting stronger as the fight went on. That last round, I had him in trouble, and had the fight gone any longer, I think I would have come away with a win. But I'm not looking back. I'm not crying about the decision or anything like that.
"I'm going to get an opportunity to rematch a guy I lost to on Wednesday, and then I'm going to look forward to maybe avenging that loss and maybe getting another big fight."
And Condit isn't ruling out a possible rematch against a fighter he beat, either. Should Nick Diaz finally break his retirement, Condit wouldn't be opposed to visiting that fight again, either.
"When I fought Diaz, it was a controversial decision, and I said, 'I can see how some people think he won,'" Condit said. "I'm not ego-tripping out here. I'm just out here trying to fight to the best of my ability, and if we don't finish the fight and it ends up in the judges' hands, it gets kind of weird sometimes."