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Friday, December 9, 2011

Fight Breakdown: Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz for the interim UFC Welterweight Title

Georges St. Pierre is out of commission. He won't be able to fight Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz, or anyone else, anytime soon. As his last title defense was April 30th, 2011, he will fall out of many of the MMA World top 10 rankings on May 1st, 2012. Details of the severity of GSP's left ACL injury are scarce, but we all know it's bad enough to require surgery. That puts him out quite some time, I feel the 10 month estimates are minimums. Actually, not many details about GSP's injury at all are available, but I think I know where he was when it happened. I've been lucky enough to have trained with the great Gilbert "Durinho" Burns, two time world Black Belt Jiu Jitsu champion, and current budding MMA fighter. Durinho is currently in training camp with Vitor Belfort, and he posted the attached picture on his personal Facebook page on December 5th....GSP's injury was announced on December 7th. As you can see in the picture, GSP, and his knees, look just fine. (Gilbert is wearing black, GSP has a red rash guard on, and Vitor is standing)
As they always have (and rightly so), the UFC will hold a bout to determine the Interim Welterweight UFC Champion due to GSP's injury. One of my top 3 favorite fighters, Carlos Condit, will fight one of my top 10 favorite fighters, Nick Diaz, for the Interim title. If and when GSP comes back at full strength, he will fight whoever the Interim Champion is at the time - of course I have my opinions on that, which I'll reveal later- first, to break down this awesome matchup. Nick Diaz is the kind of guy you either love or hate. He's quite polarizing, opinionated, as tough as they come, and a damn good fighter.
I first saw him fight at UFC 44- it was Nick's 10th pro fight. He was already 7-2, having beaten Chris Lytle in his second pro MMA fight. He fought against Jeremy Jackson, and it was actually their rubber match, their 3rd match, each had won one previously. It was an awesome fight, both fighters having advantages at points in each round, before Nick submitted Jackson with an armbar, midway through the 3rd round. I liked Nick immediately. In his second UFC fight, he was thrown to the wolves, getting matched up with Robbie Lawler. Lawler was a huge favorite in the fight, but Diaz taunted him throughout the first round, and knocked Lawler out cold in the second round. It was at this point you could tell what kind of fighter, and person Diaz was- and if you liked him or hated him. He's fought the same way ever since, talking trash early on in camp, throwing up his arms in fights, taunting, it's the way he is. It's the "Stockton Swag", and his brother Nate is quite similar. Fact is, Nick's won 10 straight fights, 4 of which were Strikeforce Championship fights, and the most recent was against BJ Penn at UFC 137. During his streak, he's TKO'd Frank Shamrock and Paul Daley, and won a decision over former Elite XC Lightweight champ and pro boxer KJ Noons, mostly with his stand up. Nick is the real deal, and will have another chance to prove it against Condit.
Pictured is the difference in appearance after Nick Diaz's decision victory over BJ Penn.
As I mentioned, Carlos Condit is one of my top 3 favorite fighters. The other two are Wandereli Silva and Dan Henderson. Carlos is an absolute warrior, a gritty, brutal fighter with huge heart. He's 13-1 in his past 14 fights, with the only blemish being a very questionable split decision loss to Martin Kampmann. During that time, he won the WEC Welterweight Championship and defended it successfully 3 times, before the WEC was folded into the UFC. Since his loss to Kampmann, he's beaten Jake Ellenberger, TKO'd Rory McDonald in a Fight of the Night performance, one I thought was the Fight of the Year in 2010, KO'd knockout artist Dan Hardy with a KO of the night, and KO'd Dong Hyun Kim, who was previously undefeated, in a Knockout of the Night. The guy is as classy and humble as they come, never calling anyone out or talking pre-fight trash. Condit was actually scheduled to fight BJ Penn at UFC 137, and Nick Diaz was scheduled to fight GSP. Diaz missed two pre-fight press conferences and Dana White decided to pull him from the title match, and put Condit in against GSP. Unfortunately, GSP pulled out of that fight too, with a knee injury. So, instead of fighting, Condit elected to wait for GSP to heal. Well, the UFC brass thought that Nick Diaz fought well enough against BJ Penn to grant him the title shot vs. GSP they had originally promised him, so Condit again had to take a back seat, agreeing to fight Josh Koscheck at UFC 143, the very event the Diaz/GSP fight was to be scheduled for. Unfortunately for GSP and Diaz, GSP is now on the shelf. Fortunately for Condit, he will be matched up with Diaz for the Interim UFC Welterweight Championship.
Standing, Nick has the technical boxing advantage over Condit, as well as a reach advantage. I'd give the pure punching power advantage to Carlos. Carlos is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, where Nick is a black belt. Neither are strong in wrestling, as their overall skill sets match up quite nicely. Diaz has shown a propensity to get cut a lot in his fights, and Carlos' heart is the biggest non-fighting-skillset factor. It may be the fan in me, but I think that Condit will end up winning this fight in TKO from ground and pound, in the 2nd round or later. Early on in this blog I mentioned I have an opinion on who GSP will fight when he comes back- and that's John Fitch. Whether Nick or Carlos win, their first defense will likely be against Fitch, if he gets by Jhonny Hendricks. I really don't like Fitch's style, but it's damn effective. Carlos Condit highlights:

8 comments:

  1. The interim fight for the belt is definitely going to be interesting. Personally...I want Condit to win the fight. I want him to win due to his ring presence and the amount of respect he has garnered through his fighting in and out of the ring. Diaz presents himself as a shit-talker and provoker...two things that I have begun to find quite irritating with many fighters. I understand the mentality behind hyping a fight and getting a following due to controversy but ppl like Sonnen that just talk shit are in a love/hate relationship.
    I hope it is a good fight and it goes several rounds...Diaz will probably win due to his experience if it goes to the ground but standing up...Condit is probably gonna knock him out or TKO in the second.

    ~Harbinger

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