UFC 143 : Why Nick Diaz Will Overwhelm Carlos Condit and Claim the UFC Interim Welterweight Title
Perhaps fight fans should be grateful Georges St.Pierre is on the shelf at the moment. Rather than another boring GSP decision, fans will be treated to an interim title fight pitting two of the division’s most exciting and violent fighters against each other – Nick Diaz and Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit – one that promises to be fast-paced, brutal, and ending with Nick Diaz’s hand raised.
Condit is one of those fighters capable of great violence anywhere, with easily the best killer instinct of anyone in the sport today. His amazing comeback against Rory MacDonald is all the proof one needs of this – after taking 14 minutes of abuse, he reversed the young prospect and delivered hellacious punishment from top control until MacDonald was saved by the referee with just seven seconds in the bout. Simply put, Condit has an uncanny ability to sense even the slightest moment of weakness and take advantage. Unfortunately for him, he’s fighting Nick Diaz this time around.
Love or hate him, no one can deny that the Stockton native is far and away the toughest man in the UFC’s ranks. Armed with a dynamic submission game, endless cardio, a suffocating volume-punching style, and a chin that’s been able to absorb everything thrown at it thus far, Diaz, like Condit, is a dangerous adversary everywhere. If Diaz has shown a weakness, it was his tendency to be taken down and controlled by elite wrestlers, something Condit is not.
With a lay-and-pray decision all but assuredly out of the realm of possibility, this fight pits opposing strengths against one another – Condit’s finishing prowess against Diaz’s resilience. Standing, Condit certainly possesses more one-shot power than his opponent, but Diaz has faced power punchers and came back from huge shots before – can Condit hit harder than Takanori Gomi or Paul Daley? Probably not. Aside from an early career setback to Jeremy Jackson, Diaz has only been stopped once – on cuts in his first fight with KJ Noons. The question of how Condit will deal with Diaz’s endless attack and how he stands up to the stream of sapping body shots remains to be seen, but thus far it’s proven to be a very difficult puzzle to solve.
Additionally, while Condit is no slouch on the ground, Diaz is by far the best grappler he’s faced in some time, perhaps in his entire career. While he’s certainly improved by leaps and bounds, one can look to Condit’s 2005 fight against leglock specialist Satoru Kitaoka as foreshadowing of things to come. Escaping one series of leglock attacks, Condit soon found himself caught again by the Japanese standout. Rather than attempt to escape the position again, and return to his vastly superior standup, Condit hammered away with punches and axe kicks on the ground, leaving Kitaoka a bloody mess, but a bloody mess that still held his leg, and Condit soon found himself tapping to a heel hook that he could have likely escaped had he shown greater restraint. Time and time again, Diaz has punished opponents who took him to the ground or followed him there, from Gomi and Jackson to Josh Neer and one-time ADCC runner-up Hayato Sakurai.
In conclusion, this is Diaz’s fight to lose. Condit definitely possesses the tools to win, but to do so, he’d likely need to employ the same strategy that “Cyborg” Santos used effectively against Diaz for the better part of two rounds, circling away and picking shots. Diaz is certainly hittable, and can definitely be hurt, but for Condit to pounce on his stunned opponent would be to gamble against Diaz’s recovery and likely give away a title shot in the process. For Condit to win, he needs to show restraint and tone back the killer instinct that has made him so successful. In short, he needs to show up and fight the best fight of his life, and fight it differently than he ever has. All Diaz needs to do is show up and fight.
If you’ve read this far into the article I’m hoping you like what US Combat Sports has to offer. Please follow us on Twitter at @USCombatSports and Facebook to stay up-to-date with all latest breaking news from the number one source of local combative news. Also, make sure to tune into US Combat Sports tomorrow for a rebuttal and the reasons why Carlos Condit will win the UFC interim title.