UFC: Diaz frustrated by Condit master class

Brian Mallon
Carlos Condit 300x225 UFC: Diaz frustrated by Condit master class

Carlos Condit

The main event of UFC 143 did not unfold in the blood and thunder manner many (including yours truly) had envisioned. “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit tempered his usual attacking style to cleverly pick off the predictable Nick Diaz throughout the five round fight. (Did I really label Nick Diaz as predictable? Someone cancel that interview in Stockton!).

The cerebral Condit utilised angles masterfully to ensure that he played no part in the Strikeforce veteran’s proposed war of attrition. Diaz announced his retirement post-fight as he vented his frustration at the hit and move game-plan perfectly executed by his elusive opponent. I believe his retirement will be short lived as Diaz seems destined to become one of the sports biggest stars.

The fight itself and subsequent unanimous decision verdict in Condit’s favor have received a mixed reception. Many fans have called for the enigmatic brawler to be given an immediate rematch. Newly minted interim welterweight champ Condit has been lambasted in some quarters for not delivering his usual power packed performance. Cesar Gracie (Diaz’ mentor) has been amongst his fiercest critics. Speaking to The MMA Hour Gracie stated; “It’s one thing to avoid standing in the pocket, it’s one thing to know how to dodge punches and kicks, and be somewhat elusive and have great defense,” he said. “It’s another thing to turn your back and run from a fighter.”

Condit’s coach Greg Jackson, was understandably more effusive in his praise of the latest champion to call his New Mexico stable home. Speaking to the same program Jackson was frank in his assessment of the fight; “It’s not like we reinvented the wheel here with this game plan…stick-and-move game plan against a guy that’s such an amazing fighter…for me is a no-brainer.”

Conversely the co-main event of the night was a brutal affair as the always tough Roy Nelson found the stand up power and muay thai technique of Fabricio Werdum overwhelming. Yet whilst “Big Country” obviously struggled against the more natural heavyweight, he proved a huge hit with viewers who couldn’t help but admire his granite chin and never say die attitude. It was gripping stuff as we watched Nelson trudge forward manfully in the face of a barrage of knees which would have made lesser men cry “no mas”.

Therein lies the crux of a fight card which still has internet forums lit up this week. Nelson displayed little lateral movement and poor stand-up defence whilst Condit was the epitome of a counter fighter, yet the latter is this week being asked to enter into a rematch with the now technically “retired” Diaz. Diaz for that matter was either unable or unwilling to alter his in-fight strategy once it became clear that his usual linear attacking style would not win the day on this occasion. Indeed it was only in the final stanza that his renowned ground game came into play and threatened to derail Condit’s impeccable display.

I find the criticism of Condit coupled with the lauding of Nelson’s admittedly gutsy performance curious. One of the main facets of martial arts is to neutralise the threat posed by your opponent whilst absorbing as little damage to your own person as possible. Surely Condit achieved maximum success in this regard? Then again the line between sports and entertainment is a difficult one to tread. The explosive careers of both Diaz and Condit to date had created tangible expectation of an epic slugfest which simply didn’t materialise. The net result is that Condit has this week agreed to grant Diaz a rematch. I believe in light of the raging debate over the judges scoring of the fight and the ongoing absence of Georges St-Pierre due to injury this is a sound call. Carlos Condit may well dominate the 170lbs division for the foreseeable future. It is therefore in his best interests that there is no ambiguity going forward as to who carries the mantle of UFC interim welterweight champion.

As Dana White touches down in Brazil to film the country’s first series of The Ultimate Fighter, events in Las Vegas last Saturday night demonstrate the power of the fans in a still growing sport. The relationship between mixed martial arts’ biggest league and its rabid fan-base remains a strong one. Condit and Diaz II will probably be booked in the coming week and fan reaction has been a factor in this. The UFC puts together the fights which the fans want to see. Social media and twitter in particular are a match makers dream. The powers that be can immediately gauge fan reaction in the aftermath of a fight and similarly assess the appetite for future bouts yet to be finalised. The need for fighters to win in a clear-cut unequivocal manner has never been greater. Whilst the often repeated mantra of “don’t leave it in the hands of the judges” will always ring true…perhaps in this digital age we can add “or the hands of the tweeters” to that adage.

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  • S

    I assure you, had the shoe been on the other foot, Condit wouldn’t have gotten the rematch.  What disgusts me about this is that it is pretty clear that UFC wants Diaz to be the next poster boy, and his immature display after the fight is a disgrace to the “martial art” part of UFC.  It’s not martial arts anymore; it’s “let’s swing our arms as fast and as hard as we can to get on the highlight reel”.  When Condit picks apart diaz like that, and then gets panned by critics for running is pathetic and the UFC is resembling WWE/F more and more with each event.  Sad, very, very sad.

  • Ricci Stanley

    Condit embarrassed The Kid Diaz, it was a tecnical masterclass by Condit, I for one was fully entertained for the full 25 mins of action, and there was plenty of action, it was a brilliant fight full of techniques.

    He battered Diaz, you only has to look at the fighters after, Condit has a scratch under his right ear from a finger, Diaz look like he’s been beaten with a bat, busted face, swollen and red body and battered legs.

    I couldn’t believe the rubbish that came out of Diaz mouth after the fight, maybe he needed to look in the mirror, watch the fight and see how his body felt in the morning to realise what a beating he took.

    For me that was one of the best stand up “mixed martial arts” fights I had seen in along time.

    Grow up Diaz, I for one don’t want to watch a fighter like you who bitches when things don’t go your way, you had no plan b, your trash talking didn’t work, you failed, deal with it.
    Condit, true professional, great technique, great stratergy.

  • MDM

    What’s technical about running away? There wasn’t any dodging and weaving, using head movement or any other type of skill he merely ran away, there is plenty of gifs of him running from one side of the octagon to the other side of the octagon.

    He was scared of Nick Diaz and he was always running away from him, Nick Diaz destroyed him in the 1st, 2nd and 5th round and is the true winner.

    Every coach and fighter is saying that Nick Diaz won the fight, even Joe Rogan rewatched the fight and said that Nick Diaz did win.

  • Ricci Stanley

    If a fighter, as you put it is running away, you change your stratergy and stop that, it took Diaz five rounds to figure that out and take him down, instead of doing that in the first or second, he lurched around the octagon, trash talking and behaving like a complete moron, do you think GSP would have done that? no he would have pounced. Diaz only has himself to blame.

    Besides that, getting your shots away and moving, is not running away, its what every fighter it taught, from boxing to TKD, to mauy Tai to MMA, you get of your combination and move. This isn’t a street fight, this is a professional sport, Condit treated it like that and won, his combos were brilliant, 3 4 and 5 hits coming from all directions and then getting the hell out of there.

    Yes, everyone loves a slug fest, but in my opinion a slug fest does not belong in the top of the game, look throughout the top of the divisions and find me any idiot who stands and trades like a clown.

    If your games it to press and it isn’t working, you need to mix it up, this is MMA btw…
    No head movement, no weaving….give over, there was plenty, Condit barely had a scratch.
    condit controlled the Octogen with his game plan, Diaz did nothing to change that until round 5.

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