Last Saturday night at UFC 143, Carlos Condit walked away from the cage holding the UFC interim welterweight title after he took a unanimous decision from Nick Diaz.  The decision did not come without controversy, however, as the winner of the fight varies depending upon who you talk to in the court of public opinion.  Fans of Diaz are saying that the former Strikeforce champion pressed forward the entire fight and therefore controlled the tempo, while fans of Condit are saying that even though he was moving backwards and laterally, “The Natural Born Killer” landed 42-more strikes.

Carlos Condit celebrates his win (Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC)

Two of the judges scored the fight 49-46 while the other judge scored it 48-47.   Unfortunately, the reality of the fight was that it was a very difficult bout to score, but this isn’t necessarily an isolated issue with this fight, as it is an issue of judging fights to begin with.  Naturally, every judge values different aspects of the sport stronger than others, but the fact that fighters don’t know what each judge may or may not be looking for on any given night is disheartening.

If there was one thing that really stood out in this fight, it was that Condit out-struck Diaz in leg strikes by a tally of 68-8.  Judge Cecil Peoples infamously said that he doesn’t feel as though leg strikes do enough to try and finish a fight, after Lyoto Machida defended his light heavyweight title against Mauricio Rua in 2009. Yet, Peoples was one of the three judges on this fight and scored every round except for the third in favor of Condit.

Fighters rarely think that they lost a fight, or at least admit that they feel that way.  Nick Diaz is no different.  When Joe Rogan interviewed him in the Octagon after the fight, Diaz said, “I think I’m done with this MMA, it’s been great out here, I’ve had a good career, you guys pay me way too much, but I don’t think I’m gonna get enough to keep going in this [sport].”

Joe Rogan replied to him asking if he was really on the road to retirement, to which Diaz answered, “You know, I don’t need this [expletive]. I pushed this guy backwards, he ran from me the whole fight.  I landed the harder shots, he ran the whole time.  He kicked me in the leg with little baby leg kicks the whole fight.  That was the way that they understand how to win in here.  I don’t want to play this game no more.”

Diaz’s comments come after clearly being frustrated, so take them at what it’s worth, but he was mostly frustrated at the fact that Condit didn’t fall into the trap that a lot of fighters do when fighting Diaz, and that is being backed up straight into the cage and being victimized by a flurry of punches.  Diaz tried his best to coax the now interim champion with hand gestures, taunts, and according to Condit, sarcastically asked, “So we’re throwing spinning [expletive] now?” in response to a spinning strike thrown by the champion.  While Diaz was able to get his opponent against the cage for a quick burst of punches towards the end of the second round, all of it was for naught in the end when he lost the decision.

Nick Diaz (Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC)

This isn’t the first time that the Stockton native has flirted with the idea of leaving MMA.  About a year ago, he claimed that he was going to give it up for boxing because of how much money he could make while competing in the sweet science, but that never came true.

Something about this doesn’t feel like it will really happen.  Even in defeat, Diaz will remain towards the top of the welterweight division and it is clear that he wants to take on champion Georges St-Pierre in the future.  The only way to get that fight is to continue fighting because, in all actuality, he is not too far away from another shot at UFC gold.

Photo: Carlos Condit (R) battles Nick Diaz at UFC 143 (Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC)

About The Author

Brian McKenna
Staff Writer

Brian McKenna was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. A sports nut from as long as he can remember, he came to be a fan of Mixed Martial Arts from a roommate watching The Ultimate Fighter while attending Westfield State College. Brian came to writing by starting his own blog, Four Down Territory, which focuses on Boston based sports, life, and of course MMA.