Carlos Condit has dropped hints at retirement before. In January of this year, he suffered a very close and heartbreaking split decision loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 195, and was quoted as saying that he might retire from mixed martial arts. And while he didn’t retire after all, agreeing to face Demian Maia at UFC on FOX 21, his submission loss to the Brazilian veteran on Saturday night just might turn out to be Condit’s last fight in the octagon.

Condit unsure if he has “any business” fighting at such a high level

At the post-fight press conference for UFC on FOX 21, Condit told reporters that he doesn’t know if he has “any business fighting at this level anymore.” He added that he has been having these doubts for “a really long time,” and has been feeling the pressure of being one of UFC’s top fighters in the welterweight division. And while Condit hasn’t shut the door on the possibility of another fight, his comments were mostly those of a man feeling defeated and deflated after submitting under two minutes into the match.

Ater strong start to UFC career, Condit has been on extended slump

Although Condit (30-10, 7-6 UFC) got off to a hot start in the UFC, winning five of his first six matches and winning the interim UFC welterweight title at UFC 143, his loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 154 for the welterweight title kicked off a rough patch, one where he won only two of his last seven fights. This was followed up by losses including those against Johny Hendricks at UFC 158, Tyron Woodley at UFC 171, and Lawler at UFC 195’s welterweight title main event.

That rough patch obviously continued on Saturday at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, as Maia wasted little time in taking the “Natural Born Killer” to the ground.

Maia’s takedown of Condit early in the first round was proof positive of his superior ground game, and with Condit having difficulty turning things around, he had no choice but to submit to a rear-naked choke just 1:52 into the first. According to Condit, it was no shock that Maia proved to be the better fighter on the ground, but what was surprising was the fluidity in his execution, how Maia excels in “puts together his passing with his striking.”

Condit remains ambivalent, but still closer to retirement than ever

Defeat in a high-profile UFC event often leads fighters, even those who aren’t considered old, to make remarks about retiring.

But it usually isn’t long before these fighters change their mind, and move on to their next challenge. As for the 32-year-old Condit, who is far from the usual retirement age for top MMA fighters, his thoughts of retirement following the Lawler fight seemed like more of the same, and weren’t taken too seriously. The loss against Maia, however, seems to put him closer to an official retirement announcement.

Even then, Condit still expressed some doubts that UFC on FOX 21 would indeed be his swan song. He said that at this point, he’s not sure “what’s in the cards,” but may be leaning toward quitting mixed martial arts even if he hates possibly leaving on such an unremarkable note.

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