UFC’s Carlos Condit thinks about retirement after loss

After losing a thrilling UFC welterweight title bout to Robbie Lawler in a disappointing and controversial split decision in January, UFC veteran Carlos Condit pondered retirement.

He’s having those same feelings again after he was submitted by Demian Maia in just 1:52 in the main event of UFC on Fox 21 on Saturday night in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“I don’t know if I have any business fighting at this level anymore,” Condit said at the post-fight news conference. “I’ve been at this a really long time. The pressure of being one of the top guys for almost a decade has been awesome. I’ve loved being involved with the sport and to have gotten to do what I love for a living for a long period of time, but I don’t know if I belong here anymore.”

Condit, 32, was the World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight champion and held the UFC interim welterweight title, but lost decisions both times he fought for the undisputed UFC belt.

“It wasn’t my night tonight. I don’t know if it’s going to be the swan song for me. Hopefully not,” he said. “I’d hate to go out on a loss like this. I’d have at least liked to have gone in and put on an exciting show like i usually do, but i don’t know what’s in the cards. I’m leaning toward probably, possibly, being done.

“I’ll probably talk to the people around me, talk to my wife, and kind of make the decision after we’ve had some discussion and done a little bit of assessing about where I’m going and what’s on the horizon.”

Condit acknowledged his comments weren’t just a result of his disappointing performance on Saturday night.

“It’s definitely been in the back of my mind for a while now,” he said. “It’s been a long career and I think there comes a point in every fighter’s career that they have to kind of question how long they’re going to continue to do that and I’ve been doing that for a little while.

“I”ve taken a lot of punishment. I don’t know if i can continue to take shots, honestly.”

VANZANT SEEKS BIGGER PAYDAYS

Among several eye-openers for 22-year-old Paige VanZant during her time on “Dancing With The Stars” was her level of pay compared to some of the other athletes and celebrities on the show.

VanZant could have chased the money and purused opportunities in the entertainment world, but her love of fighting brought her back to the UFC.

She hopes the money follows.

“I am a fighter first and there are amazing things happening,” she said Monday on “The MMA Hour” after a spectacular knockout of Bec Rawlings on Saturday night. “Conor McGregor had an amazing payday and it’s about time. I don’t see that as an excessive amount of money with what he’s doing. It’s about right, and hopefully that starts trickling down and everybody starts making more money.”

McGregor made an official purse of $3 million for his UFC 202 victory over Nate Diaz on Aug. 20 at T-Mobile Arena, though he likely made far more with bonuses and a cut of the pay-per-view revenue.

VanZant hopes salaries for UFC fighters start to fall more in line with athletes from other sports.

“I think we all deserve it,” she said. “We are all professional athletes and we are fighting at a very, very high level. The UFC, I would compare it to the NFL, it’s on the kind of same playing field. Hopefully, eventually we start seeing athletes making a little more money to that anyone coming into UFC can actually make a living off just fighting for UFC.”

MacDONALD SIGNS WITH BELLATOR

Bellator MMA has landed another high-profile free agent from the UFC.

The signing was announced during the Spike TV broadcast of Friday night’s Bellator event, which was headlined by former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson’s bizarre victory over Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.

“There’s many reasons (I signed with Bellator),” MacDonald said. “Straight up though, Bellator gave me an offer nobody in the world can match.”

The UFC waived its right to match the offer. MacDonald went 9-4 during his six years with the organization, dropping his last two fights.

After losing a title bout to Robbie Lawler in July 2015, MacDonald returned to lose a unanimous decision to top contender Stephen Thompson in the last fight on his contract in July.

“(Bellator) believes in me and I’m here to put on a show for you guys,” the 27-year-old Canadian said. “I’m taking over. I’m the king of this division. I’m going after (Andrey) Koreshkov because he’s got the belt. After that, I’m going after (the middleweight title), too.”

Henderson and MacDonald join fellow UFC standouts Phil Davis and Matt Mitrione among fighters who have signed free-agent deals with Bellator.

Henderson earned a shot at the Bellator lightweight title by defeating Freire on Friday when Freire couldn’t continue after breaking his leg. Henderson will fight Michael Chandler on Nov. 19.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

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