Preview: UFC 264 Prelims - Griffin vs. Condit

By: Tom Feely
Jul 8, 2021

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC 264 live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to T-Mobile Arena on Saturday in Las Vegas offers some impressive depth in terms of the prelims. Welterweights take center stage on the UFC 264 undercard, with all-time violence hero Carlos Condit facing Max Griffin in the featured slot and a potential barnburner between Niko Price and Michel Pereira providing backup. There is also the rare treat of Ryan Hall bringing his unorthodox style to the Octagon and some ranked veteran fighters further down the card in well-made bouts: Former flyweight title contenders Jennifer Maia and Jessica Eye collide, while Omari Akhmedov meets Brad Tavares in an interesting middleweight affiar.

Now to the preview for the UFC 264 “Poirier vs. McGregor 3” prelims:

Welterweights

NR | Max Griffin (17-8, 5-6 UFC) vs. NR | Carlos Condit (32-13, 9-9 UFC)

ODDS: Griffin (-185), Condit (+160)

Condit is far from his peak form, but it is nice to see one of the most exciting fighters in the history of the sport riding a two-fight winning streak at this point in his career. Condit’s 2016 title challenge against Robbie Lawler resulted in one of the best fights in MMA history and essentially served as the last hurrah for both men, particularly Condit. After making his hay with a style based on problem-solving through aggression, it was disheartening to see Condit either getting controlled or looking gun-shy throughout the course of four subsequent losses. However, against two of his generational peers, Court McGee and Matt Brown, “The Natural Born Killer” showed enough craft to prove that, while diminished, he still has something left in the tank. He will look to keep the good times going against Griffin, who has enough momentum to earn this shot at the biggest win of his career.

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC 264 live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

While he is only about a year and a half younger than Condit, Griffin still reads as more of an up-and-coming fighter, though part of that has been his status as a frustrating talent who has needed to figure out some things. Griffin seems to check a lot of boxes on paper—he is a powerful striker, a solid wrestler and a generally a durable athlete—but he has rarely found enough consistency in his approach to actually take over fights. While that is still generally true, Griffin is currently on the best run of his UFC career solely by finding moments where he decides to sit down on his power and hunt for a finish. He nearly tore off Ramiz Brahimaj’s ear with an elbow in November, then scored a brutal knockout of Kenan Song in March. It would be somewhere between surprising and depressing if Griffin could find a finish against Condit; for all the damage he has taken over the years, all of Condit’s stoppage losses have come either via submission or injury, never by knockout. There is an outside chance that Condit could win this simply by surviving and taking advantage of Griffin’s tendency to drift in and out of fights. However, when considering Griffin’s ability to bring power with his striking and wrestling, along with Condit’s recent history of shutting down more against harder-hitting athletes, this figures to be the Californian’s fight to lose. The pick is Griffin via decision.

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