With Welterweight legend Georges St-Pierre out until at least this fall with a torn ACL, the UFC was without a champion in its 170 pound division. Nick Diaz, originally slated to face GSP last fall before skipping important pre-fight press conferences, was removed from that match up due to his irresponsibility. He was replaced by former WEC Welterweight champion Carlos Condit, whose only loss in the past five and a half years was a close split decision loss to Martin Kampmann in his UFC debut.
Shortly after the switch, GSP suffered his unfortunate injury, and was put on the shelf indefinitely. The UFC, unwilling to wait, set up the always outspoken Diaz against the consistent Condit for the Interim Welterweight title. Meaning the holder of the title, whoever that may be, will face GSP for the undisputed title eventually. If GSP happens to be out for too long, they will be promoted to undisputed champion. If you happen to be a pro wrestling fan confused by this situation, it would be similar to the CM Punk- John Cena WWE Title, or the Razor Ramon-Shawn Michaels Intercontinental title situations.
In one of the closest fights in UFC history, Diaz and Condit battled it out for five entire rounds. A 24 minute stand up exchange saw back and forth action, until Diaz was able to drag Condit to the ground with one minute remaining and work for a couple of submissions. Condit stifled this however, and regained control to end the fight.
Before this, Condit utilized an excellent game plan, sticking and moving with leg kicks, and avoiding Diaz’s typical combos against the cage. Diaz became frustrated, taunting Condit, in an effort to make it an emotional fight. Condit didn’t oblige, and was able to succeed. Across the board, the judges gave it to Carlos Condit. Nick Diaz was frustrated, claiming he would retire from MMA, also saying he won the fight because Condit ran throughout the duration of the bout. Diaz also didn’t show up for the post-fight presser.
Supporting the main event were heavyweight stars Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum. While neither of the two are anywhere close to a title shot, with over 30 cards being shown this year, it was an ample co-main event.
Werdum absolutely controlled Roy Nelson, doing excellent work from the muay thai clinch, as well as dominating every other facet of the bout. Fabricio looked like the fighter who had been heavily hyped previously, before being derailed by heavyweight juggernauts Alistair Overeem and Junior Dos Santos.
Former Welterweight contender Josh Koscheck was also in action, taking on Mike Pierce. We were witness to some vintage Koscheck eye pokes throughout the fight, which should have cost him points on the scorecard. Somehow that was avoided, and Koscheck was able to grind out a tough decision victory over an impressive Mike Pierce.
THE VIRTUOUS ONES VIEWPOINT
Wow, my Twitter timeline exploded over the main event. The judges got the decision right. Personally I gave rounds 1, 3 & 4 to Carlos Condit, with round 5 being a toss-up. Before I receive hate mail, I don’t believe that the takedown and submission attempts Diaz managed negates the first four minutes he was smacked around by Condit in the fifth round. If a gun were to my head, I’d have said Carlos Condit got that round, but Diaz fans have on rose colored glasses, and see any offense as Diaz controlling the Octagon.
Much was made of Carlos Condit ‘running’ as well. Carlos Condit came into this fight with a great gameplan (thanks to coach Greg Jackson), which employed excellent footwork and leg strikes. If he were to let Diaz back him up to the cage (which is Diaz’s sweet spot) it would have been octagon suicide for him. Footwork and running are two different things folks.
I don’t buy into Diaz’s supposed retirement either. He’s not going into boxing. Boxing fans don’t know who he is, probably won’t pay to see him consistently, and he’s under contract to the UFC. Diaz also didn’t show up to the post fight press conference (color me surprised). Plenty of talent, but he clearly can’t take a loss. Not to mention the immature post-round actions, getting in Condit’s face, holding onto his leg, etc. How fans can enjoy his attitude, but not be able to handle a tough decision is confusing
Many of Diaz’s fans are simply brainwashed, and see absolutely no way in which Nick Diaz lost the fight. I’ll tell you. Footwork and striking. Most of Diaz’s opponents move laterally when they’re hit, Carlos Condit didn’t. Simple. This situation may cost the UFC some PPV buys due to Condit not being as colorful as Diaz, but it is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, not the Ultimate Attitude Championship.
A few other quick notes, Renan Barao deserves a bantamweight title shot, and soon. He is on an absolute tear, going unbeaten in all 29 of his pro fights since losing a close decision in his debut. I see him contending for the title by the end of the year, if not by summer.
Josh Koscheck should have been deducted points for his repeated eye pokes against Mike Pierce. Not only did he do it twice in the fight, he is a repeat offender, having done it to Anthony Johnson as well. A point deduction would have likely changed the outcome of the match. I would like to see Koscheck face Diaz soon, a fight I believe Koshcheck would win. Who is the last wrestler Diaz faced? Get back to me on that.
Also, a news tidbit to drop on you. Dana White announced that a verbal agreement has been made for Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen to square off in June in Brazil for the Middleweight title. So there’s that.
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