UFC 143: Condit wins title over Diaz
In the main event at UFC 143 in Las Vegas last night, former WEC champion Carlos “Natural Born Killer“ Condit (28-5-0, 5-1 UFC) won by unanimous decision over former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz (26-8-0, 7-5 UFC) for the UFC interim welterweight championship.
Condit hadn’t lost in Las Vegas in five fights and Diaz has won 11 fights in a row, with his last loss coming in 2007.
Like most of Diaz’s fights, the stare-down before the opening bell is an event in and of itself.
As referee Steve Mazzagatti gave the final instructions for the fight, both fighters began butting foreheads and had to be separated by security in the cage.
Starting out, Diaz was the aggressor, but it was Condit who landed the effective leg kicks. Diaz, at 6 feet, had never fought a fighter who was taller than the 6-foot-2 Condit with equivalent reach (76 inches).
Diaz didn't punch as hard as Condit, but the accumulation of punches often won his fights. In his last match against BJ Penn, Diaz broke the record for the most punches in a fight: more than 200 significant punches that landed on his opponent.
In Rounds 1 through 4, Condit used leg kicks, quick punches and an even temperament to frustrate Diaz. By his own admission, Diaz has said he is low on patience. So Condit's corner knew that the fighter needed to be patient and to frustrate Diaz to get the win.
In between rounds, Diaz’s corner never instructed him to change his game plan, believing that Diaz’s cardio would eventually wear out his opponent. Condit was winning the rounds by striking and landing the most kicks throughout the fight. The one area on the score card that Diaz held was for octagon aggression -- he kept coming forward throughout the fight.
By the fifth round, Diaz realizes that he had someone who could finally match him in cardio, strength and movement.
It wasn’t until the final minute that Diaz decided to take Condit down and end the fight. Condit was able to hold on to the end and win by unanimous decision (48–47, 49–46, 49–46) to become the new UFC interim welterweight champion.
“It’s pretty surreal," Condit said after the win. "I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and teammates. They prepared me for this fight and now I walk away with the victory.”
The biggest loser of the night may be the UFC, because it would have benefited from a larger pay-per-view if Nick Diaz had won. His next opponent would have been UFC champion Georges St. Pierre, with whom he has exchanged words. Diaz called out St. Pierre after one of his fights, and the champion has let it be known that he was rooting for Diaz in this fight so that he could destroy him in the cage.
After the fight, Diaz -- much like his last opponent, BJ Penn -- announced after the fight that he was retiring.
“I think that I’m done with this MMA. It’s been great out here, I had a good career,” Diaz said. “You guys pay me way too much [money], but I don’t think I’m going to get enough to keep on in this.”
I think the one thing that would get Diaz back in the cage is if St. Pierre calls out Diaz after he beats Condit for the belt. That would make for good drama and a big payday for all.
Below are the full undercard results:
Rafael Natal won by unanimous decision over Michael Kuiper.
Matt Riddle won by decision (split) over Henry Martinez.
Matt Brown won by TKO (punches) over Chris Cope at 1:19 of the second round.
Edwin Figueroa won by decision (split) over Alex Caceres.
Dustin Poirier won by Submission (triangle armbar) over Max Holloway at 3:23 of the first round.
Ed Herman won by submission (rear-naked choke) over Clifford Starks at 1:43 of the second round.
Renan Pegado won by unanimous decision over Scott Jorgensen.
Josh Koscheck won by decision (split) over Mike Pierce.
Fabricio Werdum won by unanimous decision over Roy Nelson.