UFC 171 is days away and if you have not already made plans to either attend or watch, you may want to do so quickly because this is an excellent card that is filled from top to bottom. In the co-main event of the night, the number 2 ranked welterweight in the UFC Carlos Condit will meet former Strikeforce title contender Tyron Woodley. UFC 171 will showcase three welterweight bout that will likely have huge title implications depending on the outcomes.
Condit is a former WEC welterweight champion and former interim UFC welterweight champion. If anyone in the UFC is dangerous, Carlos Condit is dangerous. Here is a guy who out of 29 total victories, 27 have been by TKO, KO or submission. Not only that, but the guy has an astonishing 21 first round finishes. Condit is a five tool striker who is one of the most technically sound fighters in the UFC. The jiu-jitsu brown belt is dangerous from any position in the cage.
Condit brings a 29-7 record and has never been knocked out or stopped due to strikes. He is one of the most active strikers in the UFC who will strike from the top and from guard. He is 6-3 in the UFC with wins over Nick Diaz, Martin Kampmann and Rory MacDonald.
Tyron Woodley is an interesting opponent for Condit. Woodley entered the UFC by demolishing Jay Hieron in 36 seconds but then came up short in a close fight to Jake Shields. He steps in the cage on Saturday night coming off of a win over Josh Koscheck and is ranked number 11 in the UFC welterweight division. Woodley campaigned for this fight against Condit when the spot was left open because a shuffle in the card.
Woodley is 12-2 in his MMA career and brings NCAA Division I wrestling experience along with a jiu-jitsu brown belt. Woodley is an explosive athlete with an underrated ground game.
For all the positive things you can say about the game of Carlos Condit, there is one thing that has been his downfall, wrestling defense. Fortunately for Woodley, wrestling is just his game. Woodley has dangerous power and solid hand speed but Condit will be far too technical and diverse for Woodley standing. That is why Woodley has to make this fight ugly in order to win. If he plans to stand with Condit, his chance of winning this fight is highly unlikely. However, if he can get Condit on his back and control the ground game he may be able to find a way to pull out a decision.
There is not much doubt that Woodley will try to use his wrestling in order to win this fight, so that means Condit has to show improved takedown defense. While Condit is technically sound, foot and hand speed are not his strengths. Condit will have a three inch reach advantage and will need to use his length to keep Woodley on the outside and out of range for the easy shot.
In previous outings we have seen Woodley slow down in the second half of fights. If he gets tired in this fight, especially with it being a three round fight, Condit will pick him apart with relative ease.
Should Condit win, he will get the winner of the Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler fight for UFC welterweight title. For Woodley, a win over Condit could move him into the top 5, an impressive win could land him title shot.
While Tyron Woodley is an impressive fighter, Carlos Condit is a very big step up in competition for him and it is extremely hard to see him pull out the upset. You should expect Condit to control this fight and even finish it in the second or third round. Condit will want an impressive victory and will come out looking to finish this fight. He is the superior fighter technique wise, experience wise, and is just to well rounded for Woodley at this point in his MMA career.
UFC 171: Hendricks vs Lawler takes place this Saturday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main card airs live on pay per view at 9:00 p.m. central time.