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All business, Condit tries to snap losing skid

Albuquerque’s Carlos Condit, right, battles Michael Chiesa during their UFC 232 fight on Dec. 29, 2018 in Inglewood, Calif. Condit returns to action on Saturday at the UFC Fight Night event. (Kyusung Gong/Associated Press)

Carlos Condit’s fight against Court McGee in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates is scheduled to start early Sunday morning local time for the benefit of the U.S. MMA audience.

Nonetheless, the Albuquerque native said, he won’t need a caffeine jolt from his morning coffee to get motivated.

“I’m really, really excited for this fight,” Condit said this week by phone from Abu Dhabi. “Just the whole situation.”

And yet, coffee, like MMA, is his business.

As are custom-fit jeans.

“I’ve got my different irons in the fire,” said Condit, 36. “It’s challenging to do (while balancing an MMA career), but you have to. I’m not gonna be able to fight forever, so looking to the future is definitely a good idea.”

Condit has been preparing for that inevitable day since 2016, when he retired from the sport after a loss by first-round submission to Demian Maia. He began selling medical supplies and in the process met Albuquerqueans Ryan and Kaitlin Hoskinson, who were in the medical-supply business.

When the Hoskinsons decided to found a coffee company, Condit was all in.

“I had some connections and a little bit of knowledge about coffee and about roasters and sourcing,” Condit said.

Thus, in the spring of 2017, Hundred Hands Coffee was born. Nitro, a cold brew poured from a tap, is the house specialty. The business has a permanent outlet at Revel, 4720 Alexander NE, but its products are available at other locations throughout the city.

In December of that year, Condit returned to MMA. The decision, he said, had nothing to do with Hundred Hands – though 100 hands are what he’d like to throw at McGee in Abu Dhabi. He simply missed the competition.

“The (coffee) business is staying afloat by itself, even in these kind of weird times with COVID,” he said. “Fighting is what pays my bills at this point.”

As for the jeans, Condit said the development of a Carlos Condit signature line with Sene, a Los Angeles custom-fit clothing firm, came about as the result of “just a chance encounter.”

“I followed them on social media, saw what they did, and it actually kind of fit a need,” he said. “I’m a slim guy, but I’m athletic and I have bigger legs, and I’m literally ripping jeans all the time. … I needed something that’s more custom, and that’s what they do.

“We started collaborating, and we ended up deciding to do a signature line and color (gray). It’s been really cool. I like the guys and like their approach, and the product’s pretty awesome as well.”

Condit (30-13) ended his retirement from the cage in December 2017. The former UFC interim welterweight champion is 0-3 since his return and has lost his last five fights overall.

He has not lost his confidence.

Dana White, UFC’s president, has expressed concern about the MMA futures of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Diego Sanchez, Condit’s veteran contemporaries and his former teammates at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA.

“I think with them, the big concern is them taking damage as they’re aging,” Condit said. “I’ve lost a handful of fights in the last two, three years, but I’ve not sustained much damage at all.

“It is what it is, we age. But I know that on any given night I can bring out greatness.”

Condit has not won a fight since 2015, when he returned from a torn ACL and beat Thiago Alves in Goiania, Brazil. Is he hungry?

“I’m ravenous,” he said. “… I’ve obviously been on a skid and haven’t won a fight for a while. But his opponent (McGee) is exciting, and I’m incredibly excited to get out there and take care of business.”

Afterward, back home, there’ll be other businesses to take care of.

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