Hats off to Carlos Condit for offering a rematch with Nick Diaz.
UFC president Dana White confirmed Tuesday via Twitter that Condit is willing to give Diaz another crack at the at the interim welterweight title.
“The rumor (sic) is true,” White wrote. “Carlos did accept the fight today and Carlos is coming on Friday not (Thursday).
“Carlos wanted it.”
Following his controversial victory in the UFC 143 main event Saturday in Las Vegas, Condit had his eyes set on a title unification bout with welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre.
But the mounting debate over the decision seems to have swayed the newly-crowned champion. Fighters like Dan Henderson, Mark Munoz and Jake Ellenberger side with Diaz, while Condit has the support of UFC boss White, Jon Fitch and Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate. Even Tito Ortiz called the bout a draw.
Despite being given a golden opportunity, Diaz’s coach, Cesar Gracie, said the rematch will not be happening.
Following the loss, a frustrated Diaz claimed he was retiring from MMA.
“I don’t need this s---,” Diaz told interviewer Joe Rogan. “I pushed this guy backward, and he ran from me the whole fight. He ran 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’s the way (you) win in here, so I don’t want to play this game no more.”
Diaz is clearly still fuming from the bout. There’s no other explanation for him passing on an opportunity to right a wrong.
Lack of professionalism aside, Diaz has every right to feel burned by the judges, who scored the bout 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 in favour of Condit.
The word “robbery” gets thrown around too often. It’s practically a cliche at this point. Even when fights are extremely close, some fans will yell injustice.
But I just don’t see how Condit won three rounds, let alone four. Upon initial viewing of the fight, I scored it 48-47 Diaz, awarding him rounds one, two and five. Having re-watched the close, technical bout five times, my thoughts haven’t changed.
Let’s break it down.
The opening stanza saw Diaz as the aggressor, a trend that would continue throughout the fight’s 25-minute duration. Condit landed his significant shots to the legs, while Diaz went to the head and body. The total number of strikes landed was fairly even, but Diaz delivered the better blows. Add aggression, which is a part of the official scoring criteria, and it’s 10-9 for the Stockton, Calif. native.
The second round was Diaz’s best for striking. He found success in backing Condit up and unloading his trademark flurry of punches. It was a clear win for Diaz, putting him ahead 20-18.
The momentum shifted in the third, as Condit began to loosen up and get comfortable trading with Diaz. He stuck to his in-and-out movement and was beginning to frustrate the former Strikeforce welterweight champion. It was close 10-9 round for Condit. Diaz should have been up 29-28 at this point.
The fourth marked Condit’s best round of the fight as he landed numerous strikes on an opponent who seemed reluctant to throw anything. It was an easy 10-9 for Condit, tying the fight at 38-38.
Early in the fifth, Condit seemed to continue with the success he had in the fourth, but Diaz put a stop to that by getting a takedown. Diaz then secured back control, where he worked to slap on a rear-naked choke. Though Condit finally escaped as time expired, he spent most of the round defending against the submission. It should have marked another round for Diaz, giving him the fight 48-47.
Surprisingly, judges Cecil Peoples and Patricia Morse-Jarman only awarded him the third round. Junichiro Kamijo was a bit more realistic, giving Diaz the second and fifth.
This isn’t a slam against Condit.
He’s a brilliant fighter and stuck to a smart game plan that broke Diaz out of his groove. He was able to avoid getting backed completely against the cage, where Diaz shines, but aside from the fourth round he was mostly on the defensive.
Even if you felt Condit won, you have to admit it was an extremely close fight. A rematch will erase any doubt, but it’s up to Diaz to calm down and step up.
Otherwise fans will remember him as a quitter, rather than one of the greatest fighters on the planet.
HOW THE MMA COMMUNITY SAW THE FIGHT
Following Carlos Condit’s controversial unanimous decision over Nick Diaz, members of the MMA community took to their Twitter accounts to weigh in on who won the interim title fight.
Dan Henderson: “Wow, I would not want to judge that one. I had it even after (four rounds). And Diaz in the 5th.”
Joe Lauzon: “I eagerly await fight metrics for this fight ... I thought Diaz won that all night long.”
Pat Miletich: “That decision was an absolute joke. At best, Condit won 2 rounds.”
Josh Neer “Wow. Nick got robbed 4-1 diaz (sic). Carlos was doing the Forrest Gump”
Miesha Tate: “I thought Condit won the fight. I know Diaz is pissed but Condit had a solid game plan that worked. I thought he won for sure.”
Siyar Bahadurzada: “4-1 Condit!!!!!!!! Perfect performance!!!!!!! As I said the only way to beat Diaz was to confuse and irritate him!!!!!!”
Jon Fitch: “I think condit (sic) won.”
Brian Stann: “@carloscondit won that fight in my opinion, so happy for him, put a belt around his waist!! He is a great person & father”