A lot of Nick Diaz fans are upset because of the result of his UFC 143 fight against Carlos Condit, me included. I don’t disagree with the judges’ scores; I am upset that Nick Diaz, the fighter I had pegged to win, let me down.
Diaz was the aggressor in all 5 rounds but it was Condit who landed more total strikes and more significant strikes. Check out the Fight Metric stats below:
I agree with Dana White’s assessment of the fight: Nick won the first two rounds and Carlos won the last three. Fans argue that Diaz was the one who controlled the center of the ring and moved forward more than his opponent in all five rounds. That’s a fact that can’t be denied. But Condit was very elusive and refused to get pinned up against the cage. He essentially refused to play into Diaz’s taunts and game plan by not brawling with him.
Condit’s “running away” had Diaz clearly frustrated but Nick did not change up is game plan much. Nick threw mostly punch combos and only mixed it up a little bit with single kicks. Carlos on the other hand mixed things up very nicely with boxing and kick combos. He also attacked frequently with what Nick called “baby kicks.” But those kicks caused Nick’s legs to buckle occasionally and made him clearly slow down more during the later rounds.
In Jiu-Jitsu and in many martial arts, they teach you that you have to be adaptable in combat. If a strategy isn’t working you have to try new ones. Diaz went for more kicks and take downs later into the fight but it was too little too late. Carlos had already figured out by then how to effectively land strikes without taking much damage and by the end of the 5th round was outscoring Diaz.
In conclusion, the stats don’t lie. How Carlos won the fight wasn’t pretty, BUT IT WORKED! He hit and moved and defended more intelligently than his opponent. If Diaz would have just covered up more and checked those leg kicks he would have come away with the win. In my opinion Nick Diaz is the better fighter, but Carlos Condit came away with the win because he was the better tactician. I’m disappointed that Diaz said he is retiring as he IS one of the best in his weight class and showed signs of becoming a great champ. Let’s hope it wasn’t the last time we see him in the cage, but if it was I want to say thank you Nick Diaz; you brought something no one else had to the sport of MMA.
By Greg Riot. Follow me @GregRiotMMA