Before Carlos Condit made his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut back in 2009, he was riding high as the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) welterweight champion with an eight-fight winning streak.
Credentials that would give any man confidence heading into their first fight in the biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the world.
But as "The Natural Born Killer" proclaimed during his recent appearance on "The MMA Hour," perhaps he was too confident and admitted he bought into his own WEC hype prior to stepping into the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 18 to face Martin Kampmann.
"The first time around, I felt like there was a lot of hype and it was my fight to lose. This time around I'm in a completely different place mentally. I've trained really, really hard, and I'm prepared to get in there and fight from bell to bell. In that first fight I cruised a little bit too much. I don't know, I wasn't real focused."
"Yeah, probably (bought own hype). That was a few years ago, and I was a few years younger and more immature. At that point in my career I had talent, it had gotten me a long way. I think with experience a lot of things are learned. In that first fight, going into that third round I felt like I had won the first two and I could cruise through the last round and get the decision. That was a really hard lesson learned. I lost my UFC debut. Martin Kampmann put an end to my win streak. That was something I definitely learned from. Either way, that fight's behind us, and I'm really looking forward to next Wednesday."
As a result of his overconfidence and cruise control efforts, Carlos came up short on the judges' scorecards as "The Hitman" earned a razor-thin split decision, slowing down Condit's momentum in the process.
However, many -- including Carlos -- felt the decision should have gone the other way. And to this day, the Jackson-Winkeljohn-trained fighter stands firm in his stance that the judges got it wrong in Nashville, Tennessee.
"You know what, yeah, I think I won the fight. It was really close. I think he edged me out in a lot of the scrambles and was able to take top control, and that's why I think he got the judges' [decision]. But, I definitely did more damage. Yeah, I won the fight. But I could see it was very, very close."
Since that heartbreaking loss, Carlos went on to win five straight, including wins over Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald and Nick Diaz, who he defeated for the UFC's interim-welterweight title at UFC 143.
He failed to unify the titles against division champ Georges St. Pierre at UFC 154 and found himself on the wrong end of the judges' scoring (again) four months later against Johny Hendricks at UFC 158.
Now, on the heels of two consecutive defeats, Condit looks to right his ship and "get one back" in the process as he rematches Kampmann on Aug. 28, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 27 on FOX Sports 1 in Indianapolis.
And, unlike their first encounter, a much more mature Condit plans to go full steam ahead with his foot pressed firmly on the gas pedal.