By John Petit
USA --(Ammoland.com)- When you go to work and your office is an octagon shaped steel cage, typically surrounded by tens of thousands of screaming fans, and your colleague across from you has been training for months to learn how to separate you from consciousness; chances are your hobbies are a little more exciting than most.
UFC Interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit didn’t get the nickname ‘Natural Born Killer’ because of what he can do with a firearm, he got it because of what he is capable of with his bare hands. Condit is a little more than a month out from unifying his belt with defending UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre, a fighter some consider to be the best on the planet, and as he prepares for the fight he blows off steam with some target shooting in the great outdoors.
Condit grew up outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and although his father Brian Condit (Chief of Staff for former New Mexico governor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson) had a pistol in the house, shooting was something he always did with friends.
Condit explained “My dad had a pistol, but he didn’t really introduce me to shooting. I grew up on the outskirts of Albuquerque with a lot of open space, and when I was a teenager we would go out quite a bit and do some shooting. That is where I really started to enjoy shooting.”
Condit has a professional mixed martial arts record of 28 wins and 5 losses, and is coming off of a five round bout with Nick Diaz who he defeated by decision in February. Condit decided to wait for St. Pierre who was healing from a knee injury and spend the spring and summer training for what will be the biggest fight of his career. Condit says that shooting is something he and his training partners like to do together, as they spend a lot of time together in stressful situations.
Condit said “I shoot with other fighters sometimes and my teammates. It really helps blow off some steam on a day off and be away from the gym. It’s a chance to spend a bunch of time not thinking about my next my opponent and not thinking about training. Its something to do that I can go do and relax, and just have a good time.”
Condit trains at Jackson’s MMA, a camp many feel is the best in the world, surrounded by some of the best coaches and fighters in the business. That’s where he works on his combat skills six days a week, but what’s in his arsenal at home?
“I have a couple of Glocks of various caliber, thats my favorite handgun,” Condit related. “I have a compact Glock 30 thats a .45 caliber that I really like. It was the first gun that I bought, and I am just kind of partial to it now.” Condit’s collection doesn’t end there, he concluded “I also have a Rock River AR-15, I have an M1-A and a few hunting rifles as well.”
While many UFC fighters enjoy hunting, Condit says thats not really his thing. “I am a firearms enthusiast, I don’t hunt personally, but I like target shooting. I guess I would call myself a recreational shooter.”
There are plenty of mixed martial artists who work in the military and Condit says he was able to get some pointers from some people who do it for a living.
“I have had the opportunity to train with some military guys and I learned how to shoot from them. I consider myself pretty proficient with a handgun.”
In three weeks Condit will travel to St. Pierre’s hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and a week later on November 17 he will get in the octagon with him. When the fight is over, only one of them will still be a champion, and leave the cage with the most prestigious award in mixed martial arts-a UFC title. It doesn’t matter to Condit where they set up the octagon, and if he wins it won’t be the first time he ruined the party for his opponent’s countrymen. At UFC 120, Condit knocked out Dan Hardy, who also spent weeks talking about him before the fight.
“It was a special moment.I was the underdog going into the fight, and with as much trash as Dan Hardy talks…It was not only fun to shut him up, but also silence 20,000 people in the O2 Arena in London.”
Condit casually refers to training day in and day out as ‘the grind,’ and while some days are harder than others, you won’t catch Condit complaining about it.
“Most days I love what I do, but it is a job and there is that daily grind you have to get through,” Condit asserted. “Especially when you are in training camp. It has its ups and downs, but this is an amazing experience.” He concluded “I get to do what I love to do for a living. Every day I get to go train with some of the best fighters in the world. I feel blessed to be able to do what I am doing.”
John Petit is a feature writer and senior reporter for fiveouncesofpain.com and fighters.com. His work has appeared on several sites including Yahoo! Sports and mixedmartialarts.com, and he is regularly called on as an analyst for sports radio shows and podcasts. www.facebook.com/