Frank Mir's interim belt (Getty Images)LAS VEGAS -- Interim titles.
They're a necessary evil in the combat sports world. Most mixed martial artists who win them go out of their way to say they don't consider themselves the true champion.
Carlos Condit said as much about his upcoming UFC interim welterweight title bout against Nick Diaz on Saturday night, a bout necessitated by the torn ACL suffered by champion Georges St-Pierre.
"If I win, that's nice, but I'm not the real champ," Condit said. "Everyone knows Georges is the champ until someone beats him."
And yet, interim titles serve a real purpose, keeping a the top of a division focused whenever any of the things that can go wrong in the wild world of MMA occur, from injuries to contract squabbles to brushes with the law.
Diaz-Condit will mark the seventh interim title fight in the Zuffa-era UFC, not counting unification bouts with returning champions. Here's a look at the interim champs over the years and the situations which produced them:
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2005: Andrei Arlovski. Frank Mir's first heavyweight title reign came to an abrupt end in 2004 when he was involved in a motorcycle accident, which nearly finished his career. So Arlovski fought Tim Sylvia at UFC 51 in the first fight of their trilogy, and won with an Achilles lock in just 47 seconds. The extent of Mir's injuries were such that he didn't end up returning until 2006, so Arlovski was later named the official champion and held the title until losing his rematch with Sylvia at UFC 59.