In just one hour, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will go live from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., returning to the arena for the first time since 2010.
Former interim Welterweight champion Carlos Condit will try to avenge his promotional debut loss to Danish kickboxing standout Martin Kampmann in the main event of UFC Fight Night 27 on FOX Sports 1. The two first met in the main event at UFC Fight Night 18 in Nashville, Tenn., in 2009. Kampmann edged Condit via split decision in a match up that covered all aspects of mixed martial arts (MMA).
The fight was a very close call and many feel that Condit could have been awarded the win just as much as his opponent.
The rematch this evening may be even more exciting than the original contest because both men have strayed into very different paths over the course of four years and will look to get back into the win column after each suffered defeats (ironically to the same man, Johny Hendricks.)
As both men finished off a week of media appearances and successfully made weight yesterday at the weigh-ins (see staredown pic here), it is time for their "Last Words," before the time for talking is done and the fists start to fly.
Here we go!
When they were not shooting hoops with Indiana Pacers star Roy Hibbert, Condit and Kampmann showed off their skills by sparring and displaying other methods of practice (watch video highlights here), they shared some thoughts and answered questions in the gauntlet of media members.
Condit was humble as always and was asked about his will to win should this fight go five full rounds.
On how he approaches the possible length of this fight:
"I've gone five rounds numerous times in my career, this will be Martin's first time. I've been in those championship rounds, I know what that's like and I feel like I have the endurance that if it goes into those later rounds, to dominate."
Kampmann acknowledged the task at hand and feels more than ready to deliver on his first five-round fight.
On how much of a challenge his opponent will present him with:
"Condit's one of the best guys in the welterweight division, so of course it's a big challenge but I feel confident ill beat him. I've beat him before but we've got five rounds to get the finish and I'm confident I'll get it."
The press aspect of the job can exhaust fighters since they solely want to focus on their fight, but it does provide us with some interesting quotes from each end.
Condit has not shied away from his joy about getting a rematch with the man who is responsible for his debut loss in the promotion, but feels it is essential to get back into the win column and have the title wrapped around his waist yet again.
On the rematch and possible future plans afterward:
"It's redemption in a sense. It was really disappointing dropping my UFC debut after having such a good run in World Extreme Championship (WEC). But it is just another step in getting the UFC title belt back around my waist, and that's really where I see myself in the near future."
On his continuous improvement and current standing in the division:
"I'm in the best shape I've ever been, my skills are exactly where they need to be, I'm in a really good place mentally. I would not want to fight me right now, that's for sure.... I have my back against the wall. Those fights, both of them were close in different ways. I almost had Georges St. Pierre finished, and then I lost a real close position to Johny Hendricks. Having victory slip through my fingers like that really gives me some fire to make sure I finish this fight."
Condit also shared a view on how we all should approach this fight, seeing that both fighters are finer versions of themselves.
On what to expect out of both competitors:
"I'm a better fighter. I've had these really tough fights against high-level opponents. I think that's going to show. But, he's improved, too; This is Condit vs. Kampmann 2.0. This is going to be a better version of both of us -- both hungry, both coming off losses looking to get back in the win column.
Kampmann has been quite vocal about his win over Condit the first time and if there is anyone who is drifting toward being overly confident in this fight, it is certainly "Hitman."
On how this fight will go:
"I can predict it's not going the distance. I've got five rounds, I'm going to get the finish this time -- that's going to be the only difference."
On where a win could take him in the title hunt:
"I need to beat guys that are ranked high, and right now Carlos is ranked top in the world, top three, and he'll put me back in that spot where I want to be. He's a competitor, so I was actually asking to fight him or Nick Diaz. They're both lanky, they're both in the Top 10. I want to fight guys that are ranked high. I want to get back in the hunt for the title."
Fox Sports 1 Weigh-In Show
Karyn Bryant was joined by UFC Light Heavyweight stars Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans as the FOX Sports 1 panel asked Kampmann a few questions about his chances riding into his main event war with Condit.
If this fight is a way to prove he belongs in the title picture:
"I feel great, I feel better mentally, I feel better physically than I ever have before and I'm going to show that tomorrow -- when I kick his ass."
If a rematch is extra motivation to prove he was right the first time:
"I look at it as a completely new fight. I think for him, it's more nagging him more than ever because he's got the loss. I try to not think too much about the first fight, just look at it as a fresh, new fight. He's a different opponent now, I'm a different fighter as well; of course there are some similarities but overall, I feel confident and I feel ready."
On his long layoff:
"My knee was bugging me and I had some other stuff I had to take care of outside of fighting but primarily my knee. Every time I would train, it would fill up with fluid, I would get it drained every week. I would go do rehab on it but if I was pushing the rehab too hard on it, it would swell up again. All that time off really did me good."
Condit, meanwhile, spoke with FOX Sports 1 correspondent and journalist Ariel Helwani on this fight being a "must-win" for the former Welterweight champion.
On how he felt when he found out he lost the first fight to Kampmann:
"Obviously, I was disappointed and I'm really excited for a chance to get that loss back."
If he was drawing on that fight to not make the same mistake twice:
"I lost to Kampmann ... I've lost my last two fights, I need to get back on a winning track. I need to avenge my loss to Kampmann and I need to get back on a winning track so I can get back in the title picture."
If he feels more pressure in this fight to not lose three in a row:
"Yeah, it's pressure I put on myself. I'm a competitive person; I don't deal well with losing. I need to get back on track. Must-win, absolutely ... back's against the wall."
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 27 card TONIGHT (Aug. 28, 2013) right here, starting with the Facebook "Prelims" at 4:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 2-televised under card bouts at 6 p.m. ET and then main card action on FOX Sports 1, which is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET.