Do not let Nick Diaz fool you.
He is one of the most talented and charismatic fighters of all-time, but Diaz was not the better man last Saturday at UFC 143. His opponent, Carlos Condit was.
In winning the interim-welterweight title, Condit showed in UFC 143’s main event that he is the better fighter, executing one of the greatest game plans in mixed marital arts history. For the first time in his career, Diaz did not control the fight as Condit continually landed counter leg strikes while avoiding being pushed up against the cage because of a Diaz flurry; a theme through Diaz recent 11-fight winning streak.
Condit also avoided a slugfest with Diaz, countering the taunting of his opponent late in the second round while continuing to stick with avoiding most of the action. Diaz may have pushed the pace, but Condit established a modern UFC record for leg strikes landed and his efficiency and power strikes nearly doubled that of Diaz.
Yes, I will agree that Diaz vs GSP is better for the sport. It’s the fight fans, media and most importantly Zuffa want to see. But this is not professional wrestling. Fighters make their career, and Condit showed he deserves the interim label and future date with GSP.
I don’t believe for a second that Nick Diaz will retire. He has too much to lose in walking away from the sport at this time. Despite his longevity in MMA, Diaz is just entering the prime of his physical career. His conditioning would never be tested and now that he is back in the UFC, an assembly line of would be opponents and huge paydays await. UFC President Dana White indicated welterweight contender and division bad boy Josh Kosheck , who was also victorious on Saturday night, could be next for Diaz.
I picked Carlos Condit to defeat Nick Diaz because I believed Condit would walk through the striking of Diaz and connect on some strong combinations. He did the ladder while avoiding the first, instead countering and avoiding for five rounds. Condit took the fight via unanimous decision, as I scored it 48-47, giving the last three rounds to him.
I can’t wait for Condit to challenge GSP. He will be the better striker and conditioned fighter heading into action. The question is if Condit can prevent the fight from going to the ground. GSP is one of the best MMA wrestlers in the world and Condit’s takedown defense is suspect. It will be one hell of a fight.
So, don’t let Diaz distract you. He lost the fight. He’ll be back.
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