The UFC 143 main event features the UFC interim welterweight title fight between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit. This fight will crown a champion in the welterweight division until the current champion Georges St. Pierre returns from a knee injury. This fight is a dream fight for die hard fans as both fighters are two of the most aggressive fighters in all of MMA. It should be an absolute war. Let’s see who will be victorious.
Carlos Condit comes into this fight with a career record of (27-5) with 13 wins via TKO/KO and 13 wins via submission. Condit is arguably the best finisher in the game as evident by his record. He was last seen in action knocking out Dony Hyun Kim with a flying knee back at UFC 132. He has won four fights in a row while knocking out his last three opponents. Condit is dangerous everywhere and has a varied muay thai attack on the feet while being well versed in submissions on the ground. His only weakness is his propensity to give up takedowns to guys with good wrestling skills.
Nick Diaz comes into this fight with a career record of (26-7, 1NC) with 13 wins via TKO/KO and eight wins via submission. Diaz is also a finisher, and is also known as one of the toughest fighters in the world that can take massive amounts of punishment. Diaz was last seen in action outlasting BJ Penn to win a unanimous decision back at UFC 137. Diaz has won 11 fights in a row while finishing nine of those opponents. Diaz uses incredible endurance and primarily a boxing attack that consists of ‘volume punching’ to overwhelm his opponents, often taking huge amounts of damage in the process. His only weakness is a lack of takedown defense, as well as his propensity to get cut around his eyes fairly easily.
Diaz is the favorite at (-210) and Condit as the underdog at (+170).
Those odds are probably about right. Condit has good cardio, is incredibly difficult to finish, and matches up well with Diaz because of his size and length but should be the underdog here.
Condit is the slightly larger fighter here and has about a two inch reach advantage which he should try to use to his advantage. It’ll be important for Condit to set the pace in this fight as Diaz likes to come forward with punches and force his opponents to fight going backwards. He’ll need to use good footwork to create angles and take advantage of the fact that Diaz likes to block strikes with his face due to porous defense. It’s a five round fight, so it’ll be important for Condit to win rounds early as Diaz usually gets stronger as the fight goes on. He can do that by making use of his leg kicks as Diaz has shown that he is vulnerable to them in the past. He may also look to slip the punches of Diaz and shoot for a takedown to score points and inflict damage from the top position. He can’t allow Diaz to come forward relentlessly with attacks while moving backwards as that’s a recipe for disaster. He will also need to avoid allowing Diaz to coax him into fighting on emotion as Diaz will often taunt his opponents with gestures and talk to them during his fights.
Diaz simply needs to do what Diaz does, and that’s stay on the attack the entire time and basically try to overwhelm Condit with his superior cardio. He needs to force Condit to fight moving backwards which will take some of the sting off his strikes. If Condit takes him down he needs to work for submissions quickly, or work to get back to his feet as Condit isn’t a slouch on the ground. However, it should be noted that Condit has been submitted in MMA three times, with the last time coming all the way back in 2006. Diaz is prone to cuts, so he’ll need to avoid taking damage as Condit is quite capable of opening cuts up with his muay thai attack.
It all comes down to this:
- Can Condit keep up with the pace of Diaz?
If Condit can fight without getting overwhelmed he certainly can pull off the upset. Those legkicks early could be huge in slowing Diaz down later in the fight. With that said, Diaz has historically beaten all of his opponents except guys with dominant wrestling games and Condit does not fit that description. He may be able to take Diaz down, but I’m not sure he can keep him there. So I have to go with Diaz via decision, or it’s possible that he could become the first fighter to stop Carlos Condit via TKO/KO late in the fight.