After all of the dust settled in the drama between Nick Diaz and the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Carlos Condit found himself in position to fight for a UFC title.
The 27-year-old said he thinks everyone involved got what was deserved.
“I earned this,” Condit said of his Oct. 29 matchup with welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 137. “No matter what happened with Diaz and that whole thing, I think I am legitimately the number one contender, and I have earned this shot.”
Diaz was removed from the main event for failing to show up for two news conferences promoting the fight. He was instead delegated to the second slot on the card against former champion BJ Penn.
“I don’t care what you do for a living, if you don’t show up for your job, you get fired,” he said. “That’s what happened.”
Condit, the former World Extreme Cagefighting champion currently on a four-fight winning streak since losing his UFC debut, immediately flew to Las Vegas on Wednesday upon learning of his good fortune to do interviews and promotional videos to hype the fight against St. Pierre.
While Diaz would no doubt have cast himself in the villain role against the mild-mannered champion with his trash-talking and confrontational attitude, Condit has no such plans.
“It’s nice guy against nice guy, who both when it comes down to it are two of the top fighters in the world,” he said. “I think fans are going to be excited to see the fight. That’s what matters to me, anyway. That (manufactured) stuff outside is not as important as the actual event, and guaranteed, we are going to put on a show.”
Condit’s last three fights have ended in highlight-reel knockout victories, but he knows defeating St. Pierre is going to be difficult.
“He’s a tough puzzle to solve,” Condit said.
■ WHITEHEAD ENTERS PLEA — Former “The Ultimate Fighter” contestant Mike Whitehead essentially pleaded no contest to attempted sexual assault stemming from a 2010 incident in his Las Vegas home, according to The Associated Press.
Whitehead, who lost his only UFC fight in 2006, could face two to 20 years at sentencing on Jan. 19, but could get probation. The 30-year-old must now register as a sex offender. He entered an Alford plea, meaning he doesn’t admit guilt, but concedes the prosecution could prove its case.
Whitehead was facing charges of sexual assault, attempted sexual assault and lewdness after a woman accused the fighter of attacking her while she slept after a party at his house
He is free on bail until sentencing.
■ HENDERSON AND GUIDA ON FOX CARD — UFC lightweight contenders Ben Henderson and Clay Guida will meet on Nov. 12 in Anaheim, Calif., on the card that will feature Junior dos Santos and heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez fighting for the title in a special one-hour broadcast on Fox.
The Henderson-Guida bout is not guaranteed a network television slot, but would likely air in the event of a quick main event.
The fight will be televised somewhere regardless, though the organization has yet to announce broadcast plans for the remainder of the card.
■ BACK TO JAPAN — The UFC will host an event in Japan on Feb. 26, the first time since 2000 that the organization has held a card in that country.
UFC president Dana White has long wanted to put on cards in Japan, but has often blamed “deceptive” and “shady” people for keeping the UFC from doing business there.
The event will take place at Saitama Super Arena at 10 a.m. local time, putting the live U.S. broadcast at 6 p.m. Feb. 25, due to the time difference.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.