For the first time since 2015, Carlos Condit had his hand raised at the end of a fight in the octagon.
The favorite of longtime fans, nicknamed “The Natural Born Killer,” put in a workmanlike performance in which he showed flashes of his heyday and won a solid scrap with veteran Court McGee in the featured welterweight prelim bout of UFC on ESPN 16.
The judges’ scores were 30-27 across the board for a unanimous decision, as the former WEC champ and UFC interim titleholder snapped a five-fight losing streak.
“It’s been a long one. I’ve had some ups and downs, surgeries – but it’s a pleasure to be back here and go against a guy like Court,” Condit said in his post-fight interview.
The opening round was mostly fought at a feeling-out pace, as Condit (31-13, 8-9 UFC) frequently switched stances, and McGee (19-0 UFC, 8-9 MMA) seemed content to fire single strikes. If there was any doubt as to who took the opening round, Condit ended it in the final seconds when he landed a huge right hand that dropped McGee to the mat and possibly broke his nose.
The second was an all-action affair, as Condit got back into his groove, using awkward footwork to set up everything from punches in combos to elbows to body kicks. McGee, the “TUF 11” winner, has never been anybody’s pushover, and he landed often enough to keep Condit in check.
The output slowed a bit in the third, but Condit sticking and moving held the day, with McGee never quite getting sustained offense untracked, though it wasn’t for a lack of effort as he hunted until the final horn and landed a solid right in the fight’s closing seconds.
Condit’s win was his first since a TKO over Thiago Alves in May 2015. McGee has lost three in a row and five of his past six.
The welterweight bout closed out the UFC on ESPN 16 preliminary card at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It streamed on ESPN+ ahead of the main card on ESPN.
- Carlos Condit def. Court McGee via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Josh Culibao vs. Charles Jourdain declared split draw (30-27 Jourdain, 29-28 Culibao, 28-28)
- Nassourdine Imavov def. Jordan Williams via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
- Loma Lookboonmee def. Jinh Yu Frey via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Casey Kenney def. Heili Alateng via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27)
- Luigi Vendramini def. Jessin Ayari via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:12