Has the Welterweight Division Passed Carlos Condit and Thiago Alves By?

By Raphael Garcia

This weekend’s UFC Fight Night 67 card features a main event that should attract interest from mainstream and hardcore fans alike. Carlos Condit and Thiago Alves will share the cage for the first time in their careers. These two men were both former challengers for Georges St. Pierre at welterweight and they are two of the most exciting competitors to watch in the cage. However, even as they step into the Octagon for the main event on Saturday night, it’s worth considering whether their time in the limelight has passed them by.

Both Condit and Alves remain relevant names within the division in the eyes of the UFC. The promotion currently ranks Condit in the number four position while Alves sits at number 14. However, those numbers are always considered subjective, and this should be another example as to why.

Condit has not competed in more than a year. Furthermore, he’s dropped three of his last four bouts. And while those were important fights to help figure out who will face whom for the 170-pound title, his time away from combat and his recent record should affect his standing in the division.

The same can be said for Alves. After losing to GSP at UFC 100, he hasn’t defeated a ranked opponent. 4-3 is far from the best record that the division has to offer. He may be riding a two-fight win streak, but his efforts are far below those of Dong Hyun Kim or Neil Magny, two individuals who are in similar positions within the UFC ranking structure.

Looking at both individuals, it is hard to see where they fit in at this point in time. Both men are relatively young at 31 years of age. Yet they both have a lot of competition miles on their bodies. Their professional careers started around the same time, as Alves began fighting professionally back in 2001, as compared to Condit’s fighting history kicking off in 2002. After more than ten years of fighting at a high level for both men, one must wonder just how much gas they have left in their respective tanks. As injuries pile up and new contenders push their way to the top of the division, these fighters have a lot to prove when they step into the Octagon on Saturday.

So what does this Saturday’s main event mean? The winner of the contest will not be in a position to demand a shot at the belt, at least not immediately. The welterweight division has greatly changed since these two men were two of the biggest names available in the sport. However, this win would be a good way to kick off a run that could see either man reemerge in the title picture.

The welterweight division has changed a lot in the last year, after having crowned two champions and a new number one contender in what has long been considered one of the deepest weight classes in the sport. But Alves and Condit look to remind the MMA fanbase just how important they are to this weight class. And after this weekend, fight fans will have a good idea of what the winner and loser of UFC Fight Night 67’s main event still have to offer, as well as whether or not the division has passed them by.

UFC Fight Night 67

Thiago Alves vs. Carlos Condit

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UFC Fight Night 67: Alves vs. Condit takes place on May 30, 2015 at Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil.

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